Interesting Koala Facts You’ve Never Heard
Most of us only know Koalas as little cuddly bears that climb trees, eat leaves, and look cute. But who knew they were nocturnal – toxic plant eating – marsupials – who sleep 90% of the time?! You’ll find these Koala facts are both strange and interesting.
- Not to be confused with a Sloth, Koalas can sleep upwards of 20 hours a day.
- The name Koala in Aboriginal language means “does not drink”. The majority of the water needed for survival comes from the leaves they eat.
- Female Koalas only produce one “joey” every 1 – 3 years.
- Once born, the baby Koala is only about 2 centimeters long and has to find it’s own way out of the pouch.
- Koalas are not a part of the bear family, they are more closely related to a kangaroo, another marsupial.
- The Koala has one of the smallest brains in proportion to it’s body weight of any other mammal, weighing less than an ounce.
- They’re not called thumbs, but if they were, Koalas would have two of them. They’re called “digits” and their front paws have two opposed to the others:
- The eucalyptus plant which Koalas exclusively eat, are toxic. They have an incredibly long caecum ( part of digestive system) that breaks down the plant fibers.
- There are over 600 species of eucalyptus, and a Koala only eats about 12 of them. Using their noses, Koalas are able to smell which varieties are safe enough to eat.
- Koalas have their own “home trees” that they do not share except for when mating.
- Before a baby Koala (“joey”) is ready to eat leaves, the mother produces a special faeces for her young to consume. This “pap” contains micro-organisms that help ready the young Koala’s digestive system for the consumption of eucalyptus.