April 16, 2012 | In: Animal facts for kids
Did you know that these cute, little bears that look like they always want to cuddle aren’t really bears, but marsupials?
The koalas have somewhere between 25 and35 inches(70-90 cm), and a maximum weight of20 lb(10 kg).
Koalas live in eucalypt forests of Eastern and South-Eastern Australia.
Their fur is thick soft and very pleasant to touch. These marsupials can live up 18 years however males life expectancy is less than 10 years, due to injuries during fights, dogs and cars. Presently, up to 4,000 koalas are being killed each year by cars and dogs. Females generally live longer. Koala spends sleeping 75% of its time. Just after sunset koalas move around and can often be heard “barking” aggressively at each other.
Now let’s see some fun facts about them:
Koala is the only mammal, other than the Greater Glider and Ringtail Possum, which can survive on a diet of leaves; eucalyptus is their favorite type.
Koala seldom drinks water obtaining it from the eucalyptus leaves, which are 50% consisting of water.
Koalas consume eucalyptus leaves and bark from 12 different eucalyptus tree species. They also consume mistletoe and box leaves. Sometimes koalas eat leaves from other trees such as wattle tree, tea tree, paper-bark tree.
The koalas have lived inAustraliafor the past 35 million years. Fossil remains of koala-like animals have been found since.
John Price was the first European who described koalas1798. In1816, the koala was given its scientific name, phascolarctos cinereus, meaning ‘ash grey pouched bear’.
Once there were millions of Koalas, but in the early 20th century the animal was hunted almost to extinction. In the 1920s and 1930s nearly eight million koalas were killed for their fur. But since then, after the Australian government made it an endangered specie, the population in slowly growing.