ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Interesting Facts About The Koala

Updated on June 8, 2013
Source

The Koala is one of the many animals you will find in Australia. They are a unique type of mammal for many reasons. They are referred to as Koala Bears however; this is not accurate because they are marsupials. This means they have a pouch to carry their young in whereas a bear does not.

They are also unique in the fact that they are also "arboreal" which means they live mostly in trees. Their diet is mostly made up of eucalyptus leaves, a leaf that is toxic to most mammals. This also sets them apart from the average bear.

These amazing animals are also nocturnal so if you would like to see one you are better off looking for them at night but you will have to be quick. On average, thanks to their Eucalyptus diet which gives them a lower metabolic rate, they will sleep up to 20 hours a day.

Characteristics

By most people who have seen them the Koala is considered cute and cuddly because of their small round bodied shape. They are covered by a soft wool-like fur. This fur is mostly gray on their backs and white on their belly. They also have long white hairs on the tips of their ears. They have very sharp claws and opposable "fingers" which enable them to climb trees and navigate within the trees.

Source

The size of the Koala will depend on which area in Australia you are in. Northern Koalas are on average 27-36 inches long and weigh anywhere from 9 to 20 pounds. Southern Koalas are typically thirty percent larger. Most males are larger than females in both length and weight.

The pouch for their young is located on their belly and where most marsupials have a pouch that opens toward their head the Koalas pouch opens toward their hind legs. This makes it easy for their underdeveloped newborns to get into. Once inside they will stay in the pouch for several months.

Lifestyle

Koalas are often found in Australia's eucalyptus forests, low woodlands, and on coastal islands. Though they may live anywhere in Australia; however you will be more likely to find them in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales. They are solitary animals and prefer to be alone rather than in large groups. Often, you will find one male alpha Koala and a group of females living together and this group will mate almost exclusively. The male's role is to protect the group from danger and to mate with the females in his group therefore the females rely on male vocalizations to determine how big the male is before becoming a part of his group.

Source

Lifespan


The Koala has the potential to live up to 17 years. However, there are fewer than 100,000 of them still alive and their life expectancy is only on average less than 13 years. This is due to the fact that dogs attack them, they are hit by cars and as a male they often die after getting injured in fights with other male Koalas.

Dogs and people are their primary threat because in a typical year approximately 4,000 koalas are killed yearly. Back in the 1920s the Koala was hunted by people for their fur which made them endangered. Australia as a nation has developed laws to protect these animals however; each Australian state is responsible for the animal's conservation.

Reproduction

Koalas breed yearly and their gestation only lasts for 35 days. When the offspring is born, it is very small. It will climb into the mother's pouch and it will continue to eat and grow for five to seven months longer nursing on its mom's two teats and getting milk as their only nutrition. When the joey is about six months old it will also start to consume the mother's protein-rich pap which gives the infant all it needs to be able to eat and digest eucalyptus when it comes out of the pouch.

Source

By one-year-old the infant will no longer fit inside the mother's pouch though it may still continue to stay with her gaining its independence and riding upon her back. Once the mother has bred and the new infant climbs into her pouch, the older sibling will often venture off to be on its own but it will often still stay within the same group until it is old enough to reproduce. This may take two to three years.

If the male of a group is not large enough to become an alpha male, he may never be able to mate successfully with females.

Koala Meets Cyclist

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)