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Friday, 20 November 2015

Koala

ETYMOLOGY 

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

ANATOMY

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.

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.

BEHAVIOR

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.

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

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 hug trees to stay cool on hot days.

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.

LIFE EXPECTANCY

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.

Source Yahoo.com

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