Koala Facts

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.

  1. Not to be confused with a Sloth, Koalas can sleep upwards of 20 hours a day.
  2. The name Koala in Aboriginal language means “does not drink”. The majority of the water needed for survival comes from the leaves they eat.
  3. Female Koalas only produce one “joey” every 1 – 3 years.
  4. Once born, the baby Koala is only about 2 centimeters long and has to find it’s own way out of the pouch.
  5. Koalas are not a part of the bear family, they are more closely related to a kangaroo, another marsupial.
  6. The Koala has one of the smallest brains in proportion to it’s body weight of any other mammal, weighing less than an ounce.
  7. 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:
    koala-thumbs
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Koalas have their own “home trees” that they do not share except for when mating.
  11. 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.
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