Koala Physical Characteristics
Due to the fact that the Koala strongly resembles a bear, it was given such a name early on. Even today with the information we have, many people still call them a type of bear. It is one of those errors in our society that still continues to be circulating very strongly. They do have a body that can resemble a bear though.
The middle part of the body is very stout and they do have ears that look like those of a bear. They also have very large paws and fit into the classification of animals known as marsupials. They have thick fur and it is a gray color. They also have areas of black, brown and white on their bodies.
The females have a pouch which is where they young go immediately after birth. This pouch offers them comfort and safety for the first six-seven months of life.
The Koala can offers a vestigial tail and many people miss it completely if they aren’t looking for it. There is no real benefit of the tail as it doesn’t help them with balance or movement which is the case for lots of other animals. The hair of their bodies is very thick and they have hair on the ears as well.
They have very small eyes and a very large nose. This larger nose is one of their dominant characteristics that people immediately notice about them. They have an amazing sense of smell with that nose! Fully grown they are from 2 -3 feet tall. They can weigh from 9 to 29 pounds. It appears that the Koalas living in the North of Australia are smaller than those found in other regions.
They have front limbs that are much longer than the back ones. They have powerful claws and opposable thumbs that allow them to easily grip as well as to climb.
While the males and females look the same, the males are larger in size. They also have a wider face. The mature males develop a brown gland on their chest area. This allows them to leave scents behind.
It is known that the Koala has a very small brain. They aren’t viewed as highly intelligent but they do have the ability to problem solve and to adapt on various levels. They have a very simple existence that many find to be boring. However, the design of their body as well as the brain works for them and has allowed them to live for many millions of years.
Even though the Koalas are plant eaters, they feature very sharp front incisors. This allows them to remove the leaves to eat from the trees. They push the food to the back molars where it is ground into the paste.
There is a gap in their mouths between the incisors and the molars. This deign allows the tongue to freely push the leaves around in the mouth without any hassle. This gap is formally known as a Diastema.
Overall, the body works well for the Koala. They have an excellence method of balancing themselves without any problems. They can sit upright for most of the day without fear of falling from the trees. They have a thigh muscle that is located lower on the body than for most other animals. This gives them an amazing amount of strength to use for climbing.