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Friday, 20 November 2015



The  koala is not a bear. It is in fact a marsupial, related to the kangaroo and the wombat. Marsupials are characterized by a pouch in which females carry their young through early infancy.

The name koala originates from an Aboriginal word meaning "no water," which is fitting since koalas get their water from eucalyptus leaves, and don’t actually drink it.

The name koala bear became popular when English speakers and people unfamiliar with the species found the koala to be similar in appearance to a Teddy bear.


The koala has a body length of 60–85 cm (24–33 in) and weighs 4–15 kg (9–33 lb). Pelage color ranges from silver grey to chocolate brown.

The fingerprints of koala bears are virtually indistinguishable from those of humans.

Their fur is very coarse and repels water, helping koalas to stay dry in the rain.

Koalas are well suited to sit on trees, as they have extra thick fur on their bottoms, a cartilaginous pad at the base of their spines and a curved skeletal structure.

A koala's brain is only 0.2% of its body weight. It is among the smallest (in proportion to body weight) of any mammal.


Koalas typically inhabit open Eucalyptus woodlands, and the leaves of these trees make up most of their diet. Because this eucalypt diet provides them with only low nutrition and energy, koalas are largely sedentary and sleep for up 18-22 hours a day.

Though their diet is mainly eucalyptus leaves, they will only eat fewer than 50 of the 700 species of eucalyptus.

Koalas spend about three fifths of their active hours eating, usually in the evenings.

Koalas have the ability to sense when eucalyptus becomes toxic by smelling it.

Koalas often store leaves in their cheek pouches for later consumption.

The aren't big drinkers. Koalas get all the moisture they need from the Eucalyptus leaves that they ingest.

Koalas mark their territory with a scent gland on their chest, so they hug trees really tight to leave their mark.

They are asocial animals, and bonding only exists between mothers and dependent offspring.

They are endemic to Australia, specifically the eucalypt forests in the east of the country.


About 80 per cent of koalas have the venereal disease of chlamydia. A side effect is it makes them incontinent, and the leaking urine can make them pretty smelly.

The boy band One Direction were once worried they'd caught chlamydia after a koala urinated on them.

Koalas live for ten years on average, though they can live longer than that. Female koalas usually give birth to one koala a year.

Koalas aren’t an endangered species, but the Australian government declared them “vulnerable” in 2012. The Australian Koala Foundation estimates there are around 60,000 koalas left in the wild.


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