Koala Evolution and Adaptation
How did the Koala come to be such a mysterious and amazing animal? They certainly do things that go against what the rest of nature has to say. It is these very changes and differences though that may be responsible for them thriving over such long periods of time.
Many experts believe that the diet of the Koala is part of the evolution process. It is believed that they used to consume lots of different types of plants. However, they had to adapt to this type of food in order to survive. What is interesting is that this type of food is highly toxic to other types of animals in large quantities.
An extremely slow metabolism is another way in which it is believed that the Koalas evolved. They only consume about 1 ½ pounds of food daily.
The Koala is considered to be a marsupial due to the fact that the females have a pouch to carry their young. Many experts believe that this pouch is the result of evolution as it offered a more secure way for the mothers to still get their needs met while carrying for their young.
The fact that Koalas can move around on ground and swim suggests that they were once doing more of that. Did they evolve into animals that live primarily in trees as a way to reduce the risk of predators getting to them? This is certainly a theory that holds a great deal of weight. Since the Koala doesn’t have speed or ways to really defend itself then staying out of the way is a great way to reduce predation.
For those that believe in the ideals of natural selection, the Koala fits that pattern of behavior. They have been influenced genetically by various diseases and problems in their culture. Those that have good genetics though have been able to thrive in spite of such problems.
Those that have been able to adapt to the changing environment around them have also been able to survive. One thing that works against the Koala is that they don’t do well with stress. This is why most believe that the evolution process for them has been very slow and very meticulous.
There is prove to verify that the Koala has been around in the form we know of it for millions of years. However, the fact that there is only one Koala family according to DNA tells us that they haven’t branched off and developed sub species. Their slow evolution process is a key reason why that is a fact.
If it weren’t for all of these factors, there is no way that the Koala would have survived. They wouldn’t have been able to successfully stay in the trees like they do. They wouldn’t be able to survive in such low amounts of energy or with such a small brain. The overall design of them has been questioned over and over again. The same answer prevails which is that the evolution process for the Koala is one that we would love to find out more about.
While that quest for accurate and reliable information continues, one thing is for a fact. There are tons of theories on this subject that you may wish to explore. As you learn more about Koalas you can decide which theories you believe are accurate as well as why. You may come up with your own theory too that you want to share.