Facts about Koalas
Top Koala Facts
There are some fun facts to learn about the Koala. Many of them you may not be aware of. For starters, it is often called the Koala Bear but it isn’t a bear at all. The name Koala means ash colored.
The closets living relative of the Koala is the Wombat. They have five fingers with two opposable thumbs on both hands.
They have fingerprints that are extremely similar in nature to those of humans. They can still be extremely similar when a microscope is being used to compare them.
The Koala is a herbivore which means it only eats plants. Eucalyptus leaves make up most of the diet. Eating can take up to 5 hours each day to complete.
A female Koala will have a new baby every one, two or three years depending on factors. A baby Koala is known as a joey. They are born blind and without ears.
The Koala has a very slow metabolism. They are known to do nothing for about 18-22 hours a day to conserve energy.
When these animals are handled they experience high levels of stress.
The Population trend in the wild is unknown. With the slow rate of reproduction that is a huge concern. One female may produce only up to 6 offspring over her lifetime.
What is interesting is that the United States government has the Koala on the threatened species list. However, in native Australia they aren’t listed as even being in danger.
At one point the Koala was almost extinct. It was being heavily hunted for its fur. It is believed that more than 1 million of them were killed in 1919.
The Koala has a vestigial tail. An external tail was present many years ago. The vestigial tail has null value for them in regards to movement or balance.
A Koala has front limbs that are much longer than the back ones.
These animals are nocturnal which means they spend more of their time awake in the night time hours.
In the wild the life span of a Koala is approximately 10-15 years. Females tend to live longer as the males fight among themselves. Those fights can cause plenty of injuries.
The Koala has a very small brain.
While the Koala will spend almost all of its life in the trees, they can come to land to find food when necessary.
Dogs are prime predators of the Koala.
It is believed that the Koala population has declined by half in the past 6 years. It is also believed that they can become extinct in the next 30 years if we don’t pay serious attention to their needs.
Koalas don’t need much water, cause they get all they need from the eucalyptus leaves.
Koalas have trees that they live in as well as those that they consider feeding trees. This is part of how the social network for them is able to work.
There are more than 700 types of eucalyptus in the forests of Australia. However, they will only eat some of them.
When Koalas climb down trees, they do so backwards.
They are able to walk, to run, and even to swim. They are rarely seen swimming though which is why so many people think this is merely a myth.
They use a variety of sounds to communicate with each other. This allows them to call to each other from long distances.
Approximately 4,000 Koalas are killed annually due to accidents with cars and by dog attacks.