They are where our story began - so we should really find out more about them. Our animal facts therefore continue with some fun facts about the Koala.
- Although they are often given this name, Koala aren’t actually bears! They are in fact Marsupials. This group of animals are mainly found in Australia and New Guinea, but are sometimes also found in America. Marsupials are typically carried in a pouch by their mums when they are younger. Other Marsupials include Kangaroos, Possums, Wombats and Wallabies. Can you name any more?!
- What do Koalas eat? Well they really love the Eucalyptus forests of Australia. In fact, they love it so much that they can eat up to 1 kilogram of it a day! They even keep some for later in little pouches in their cheeks. But did you know that the eucalyptus leaves are actually poisonous? Luckily for the Koalas they have a digestive organ called a cecum which allows them to break down the leaves and avoid any harmful (and deadly) aftertaste.
- Do you know what these Marsupials are named after? Well ‘Koala’ actually means ‘no drink’ in aboriginal dialect. It is thought that this is because Koalas rarely drink, and instead absorb nearly all of the moisture they need direct from the leaves they love to snack on.
- We previously gave you some fun facts about sloths, but did you know that Koalas are also big fans of a snooze? Like the sloth, Koalas don’t have a lot of energy, and can instead be found napping in the branches for up to 18 hours a day!
- Where do Koalas live? Well as mentioned previously, Koalas are found in Eastern Australia. But sadly their home is under threat. In fact, around 80% of their habitat has been taken away from them - by forest fires, drought and urbanisation. Although Koalas do not help themselves by being so fussy: out of over 100 species of Eucalyptus trees, they will only feed on 12 of them, and often eat their whole supply. This means conservationists will often move Koalas around so they will have more of their favourite leaves to snack on - which seems like a nice silver lining.