General

Koala

posted: 04/29/14
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Koala
mvaligursky/Veer

Allow me to introduce Myself: I am a Koala!

Where You'll Most Likely Find Me: Tall, open eucalyptus forests in Eastern Australia

What I Like to Eat: An adult Koala will eat between 200 and 500 grams of eucalyptus leaves (gum leaves) a day.

Betcha Didn't Know This About Me: We are often mistakenly called Koala Bears. We are not bears even though some people say we resemble them. We are marsupials, or mammals which carry their young in their pouches.

Who We Are: Koalas are cute, chubby and furry animals who weigh about 30 pounds. As nocturnal creatures, we use our sharp claws to help us climb trees. All we do is sleep, eat and travel from tree to tree.

Sleepy Time: The majority of our days are spent sleeping or moving around very little to conserve energy. Between 17 and 22 hours to be exact. Why? Because our bodies need a lot of energy to digest the eucalyptus leaves. These leaves have little or no nutritional value, but are high in fiber, so it takes a lot of energy for us to digest them. The leaves are also our source of water so we rarely drink. Many animals would not be able to survive on a eucalyptus leaves diet.

Digestion: Eucalyptus leaves are poisonous to many other animals, but not to us. Here's why: the caecum, which is a long part of our intestine, contains millions of tiny organisms whose job it is to break down the gum leaves making them easier for us to absorb as well as keeping us safe from the poison in the leaves.

Baby: Baby Koalas are called Joeys. They ride around in their mother's pouches just like kangaroos.

Single Life: We're not fans of other Koalas. We love our solitude and will have no qualms fighting with one another over our territory.

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