An iconic Australian animal, koalas are adorable cuddly critters who can be found in the eucalypts forests of eastern Australia. Inaccurately, they are often called bears, but they are definitely not bears. They are a special kind of mammals called marsupials who give birth to underdeveloped babies and then carry their babies in a safety pouch where the further development of the babies takes place. Interesting, cute, very popular, and the face of the tourism of Australia, there are many unknown koala bear facts that you would love to know about. From where do they live to what do they eat and also what are some of their weird habits – stick to our today’s post and discover these awesome animals in a whole new way.
Most Fascinating Koala Bear Facts You Would Love To Know:
#1. They Can Be Found On The Southeast And Eastern Sides Of Australia:
These unique Australian marsupials live mainly in the forests of southeastern and eastern Australia. You can find them in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and also in some parts of South Australia.
#2. Once Upon A Time They Also Lived In Parts Of Western Australis And The Northern Territory:
One of the most amazing koala bear facts is that, according to the fossil records, many many years ago, the koala bears inhabited parts of Western Australia and Northern Territory too.
#3. Koala Bear Facts:
Koalas are arboreal herbivorous marsupials.
#4. Their Eating Habit:
The eating habit of the koalas is also very interesting. One of the most fascinating koala bear facts about their eating habit is that their diet supremely consists of the leaves of eucalyptus. And what is more fascinating is that, although eucalyptus is poisonous (due to cyanide) to most of the animals, they can easily digest it with their special fiber digesting organ, called the caecum. This organ helps koalas to detoxify the chemicals present in the eucalyptus leaves.
Koalas depend on the eucalyptus trees for both living and eating.
#6. Koala Bear Facts:
They also obtain their water requirements from the leaves themselves.
Koalas need special bacteria in their system to eat the leaves and digest them. But a newborn koala does not have that bacteria in its system. Then how do they get it? What happens is that the mother koala excretes a sticky sap-like thing named ‘pap’ which the young koala ingests normally. This substance acts like a probiotic. Thus they unknowingly take in the bacteria that they use later on to digest the leaves.
#8. Koalas Sleep For More Than 20 Hours:
The Koala’s diet is really low energy and moreover, their bodies lose the rest of the energy in breaking down the toxic leaves that they eat. And that is the reason they sleep for up to 20 hours a day.
Like all the other marsupial babies, koala babies are also called joeys. They are born underdeveloped. And when they are born they are merely the size of a jellybean. During this time, they live in their mother’s pouch and live there for almost six months. During this time they are literally unseen. So the first time you see a koala baby, it must be already 6 months old.
#10. Koala Bear Facts:
One of the most amazing koala bear facts to know is that a female koala bear has three vaginas.
#11. They Have Fingerprints:
Just like us, koalas also have fingerprints and each one’s fingerprint is different than the other one. Also, they have different patterns on their noses. These unique patterns of them are used by biologists to identify and track them.
#12. They Skimp On Water Consumption:
Koalas do not drink much water as they obtain a whole lot of water from their dietary staple which is the eucalyptus leaves. But when that does not suffice, they get down from the trees and visit the creeks and water holes to drink the necessary water.
#13. Female Koalas Smell Like Eucalyptus:
Mature male koalas have scent glands and that makes them have a very strong and musky odor. But female koalas and the juvenile ones give off a very light eucalyptus smell. Is not it one of the most fascinating koala bear facts to know?
In the wild, a koala bear generally lives up to 13 to 18 years.
#15. They Have Thick Woolly Fur:
Koalas have thick woolly fur which protects them from both heat and cold. One of the most fascinating koala bear facts to know is that their fur is the thickest of all the other marsupials.
The scent gland present on the chest of the male koalas helps them to mark trees and attract females.
They have one of the smallest brain-to-body ratios of any mammal.
It is incredible to know that koalas exhibit same-sex mating behavior.
#19. The Word ‘Koala’ Comes From An Aboriginal Language:
The word ‘koala’ was derived from the Dharug language which was originally spoken by the Darug people.
During the summer months, they have been found to spend time hugging the trees. They do so to cool down as the trunks, in the summer months are up to 7 degrees Celsius cooler than the surrounding atmosphere.
#21. Koalas Are Fussy Eaters:
Koalas are very choosy when it comes to their food. They tend to eat the most nutrient-rich leaves. Not only that but they also have been found to eat only 60 types of Eucalyptus leaves of a total of 700 types. Wasn’t it one of the most amazing koala bear facts?
The favorite Eucalyptus leaves of them are the Manna Gum leaves.
#23. Their Population Is Under Threat:
Koalas are one of the most iconic animals in Australia and also in the whole world. And they are endemic to Australia. But due to deforestation, road traffic, and other issues, today their population is under threat. Also, eucalyptus trees, being one of the most inflammable trees, often catch bushfires and many koalas give lives when their habitat is set on fire. Today they are considered vulnerable to extinction which is just a step above endangered. Many reports go on saying that, by 2050, koalas will face a sure extinction in New South Wales. This is really one of the most heart-wrenching koala bear facts to know.