Koala Facts and Information
Facts about Koalas, Habitat, Anatomy, Reproduction, Distribution,
Evolution, Life Cycle, Predatos and more
Introduction to Koalas
The Koala fits into the category of animals known as marsupials. They are small in size with an overall size of 2 or 3 feet. They can range in weight from 10 to 30 pounds. The males are larger than the females. Those that live in the North are smaller than those in other parts of Australia.
They aren’t bears by any means but that is a name that has often stuck due to their physical characteristics. They have thick hair that covers their body including their ears. They have fingers with nails on them and opposable thumbs. They have thick pads on the fingers and toes so that they can grip and they can climb as they move around in the trees.
Many agree that the Koala is a very boring animals to watch though. They don’t do much with their time. They rest or sleep for about 18 hours a day, eat for about 5 hours a day, and groom themselves with the remaining hour. The most interesting part of observing the Koala is when a female has a young one with her. You may not know it for the first six months though.
- The Koala has a very slow metabolism.
- They are known to do nothing for about 18 hours a day.
The young are in a safe pouch at the front but you can see them peeking out from time to time. After about six months the baby Koala will begin riding around on the back of the mother for another six months. They are born very helpless though. They don’t have any hair, they have their eyes sealed shut, and they don’t have any ears yet. The mother needs to consume lots of eucalyptus leaves to make milk for the baby to grow.
It is the lack of initial development at birth that makes the Koala very unique from most other animals. We don’t know much about when the various parts of the baby start to develop since they are well hidden from the world for long periods of time. The muscles in the abdomen of the Koala allow the mother to seal the pouch shut when she needs to offer her little one lots of protection.
From around 1919 to 1930 more than 2 million Koalas were killed for their thick fur. There was a huge demand from consumers to wear this type of clothing. Today though it is illegal to hunt them. Approximately 80,000 of them remain in the wild today. There are also large numbers of them found in zoos around the world.
The Koala is highly susceptible to a variety of different diseases in the wild. This has led to a significant reduction in their population. They can develop diseases that cause them to be sterile. Some of the problems allow large amounts of fluid to develop in the lungs. There are also those that end up losing their vision and that makes it very hard for them to get around.
In the past six years it is believed that approximately half of the population has died. There are experts that feel this animal won’t survive more than 30 years if things continue as they are. They feel substantial efforts have to be taken in order to protect their environment and to allow them to thrive.
Only time will tell if the Koala is able to continue surviving with all of the changes going on around it. They have been on Earth for millions of years so there is still hope that we will be able to assist them in continuing that pattern. Ironically, the government of Australia doesn’t seem to be as concerned about their future as the United States government.