Koalas are not Bears

Koalas are not bears

Yes! Koalas are not bears, they are in fact marsupials (a mammal with a pouch for the development of offspring ). But often it is called the koala “bear”. This tree-climbing animal is an iconic Australian animal.

The fuzzy looking Koalas have hairs like the coarse wool of a sheep. Koalas have two opposing thumbs on their hands. Both of their feet and hands have rough pads and claws which helps them to hold onto tree branches easily. Interestingly, they have two toes, joined together which Koalas use to comb their coarse fur like hairs.

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They live in the eucalyptus forests of Australia. They are mostly eating if awake. Eucalyptus tree serves for them both as habitat as well as food. They can eat more than a pound of eucalyptus leaves in a day. Eucalyptus tree is toxic, so the koala’s digestive system breaks down the toxins and extracts limited nutrients. This is the very reason why Koalas sleep a lot, as they get very less nutrients from their food.

If not eating, they sleep and that too may be for 18 to 22 hours. Koalas don’t drink much water, they get most of their moisture from eucalyptus leaves. They even store these leaves in their cheek pouches to be consumed later.

They eat so much eucalyptus leaves that they often take on its smell. Koalas need about a hundred trees per animal which is a lot as unfortunately the Australian woodlands are shrinking rapidly.

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