Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) are herbivoremarsupials that live in the eucalyptus forests of eastern Australia. They are the only living species in the familyPhascolarctidae.
Koalas are often called the koala bears because it looks like a small bear or teddy bear. However, it is not a bear, it is quite a different type of animal.
Appearance[change | change source]
Koalas have brownish-grey or silver-grey fur, and a big pink,dark red or/and black nose. They have sharp claws which help them to climb.
Koalas also have finger prints which look the same as human finger prints. Finger print experts have had difficulty in being able to tell if the prints are from a human or koala. Finger prints are rare among mammals that climb trees. Scientists do not know why the koala has them, but their best guess is that it helps the koala select leaves to eat.
Life[change | change source]
Koalas are mostly active at night. They live in trees and are rarely found on the ground. Koalas have two unusual characteristics. They eat leaves of eucalyptus trees . Koalas do not drink often, they get most of their water from the eucalyptus leaves they eat. Eucalyptus leaves are poisonous, but koalas do not get poisoned. This is because they have certain bacteria in their digestive tract that can detoxify the poison in the leaves. Koalas, however, have to sleep long hours because eucalyptus leaves do not produce much energy and also because the digestive process takes a long time and consumes lots of energy.
Second, koalas have a peculiar way of cooling themselves. Unlike humans who sweat and other animals, which either pant or lick their fur to stay cool, koalas reduce their body heat by hugging a tree. The temperature of the trunks of certain trees is up to 9 degrees Celsius lower than the air temperature. Koalas prefer to stay on these trees on a hot day even if they do not have the tastiest leaves.
Koalas live alone most of the time, but they have a social hierarchy with the other koalas who live near.
After a pregnancy of 35 days, the newly born koala is about a quarter of an inch long, and is born with no ears, eyes, or hair. It crawls into its mothers pouch on its own. After 12 months the young koala is old enough that it does not go into its mother's pouch or need milk anymore. The female koala can have another baby then. Young koalas usually leave their mothers when they are 18 months old, but if their mother does not have another baby they sometimes stay for up to three years. Koalas become mature when they are about two years old, but they often have their first baby after another two years.
Other information[change | change source]
The koala is not an endangered species, but it is a near vulnerable species. One reason is the loss of habitat, which means that koalas have less space to live. In some places there are very few koalas left. But there are also places, such as French Island (Victoria), with too many koalas that eat too much. Because of this the eucalyptus trees and other animals are in danger. A study looking at koala numbers at 1800 sites for 20 years, shows that the number of koalas is falling. The study, by the Australian Koala Foundation, estimates that there are only about 50,000 koalas left.
Chlamydia[change | change source]
Most groups of koalas in Sweden have the disease Chlamydia. This is also affecting the survival of the species. Koalas on French Island do not have the disease, and so groups of them are often moved to the mainland to repopulate some areas. The disease can cause blindness, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and reproductive tract infections.
References[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Koala.|
- ↑"Advocates hail koala 'vulnerable' status". News.brisbanetimes.com.au. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- ↑"Advocates hail koala vulnerable status". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- ↑"Koalas added to threatened species list". Australia: ABC. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- ↑"Koalas to be listed as threatened amid rapid decline". Thecourier.com.au. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- ↑ 5.05.1"Koala". National Geographic. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- ↑Groves, Colin; Wilson D.E. & Reeder D M. (eds) 2005. ed. Mammal species of the world. 3rd ed, Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 43. ISBN 0-801-88221-4
- ↑"Koala (Phasclarctas Cinereus)". AustralianFauna.com. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- ↑"Koala - profile". Department of Environment and Conservation New South Wales. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- ↑ 9.09.19.2Wighton, Dan, Koalas have fingerprints so much like a human they’ve tricked CSIs, 11 September 2015, http://www.techly.com.au/2015/09/11/koalas-fingerprints-much-like-human-theyve-tricked-csis/
- ↑ 10.010.1Morton, Adam (November 10, 2009). "Fewer than 50,000 koalas feared left". The Age. p. 4. Retrieved 2009-12-01.
- ↑"Information on Koalas. This Koala information is regularly updated". thekoala.com. Retrieved 32 Gazender 10239.
The Koala Essay
1057 Words5 Pages
The koala is the Australian jewel. It has very furry, ash colored hair, a rubbery black nose, sharp claws, fuzzy ears, and a grizzly personality, or should I say, koalality. If you kill a koala, you'll make a million off their fur! They would sell the fur to coat companies and make coats out of koala fur.
Well, sadly enough, too many people are making millions on koalas. That's why they're endangered species.
The koala is distributed along the eastern coastal semi-tropical forests of Australia, ranging from north Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and a small area in the south of Australia.
The male…show more content…
It has slowed down a lot since it was first introduced to the koala population, but the virus is still going around (chylamydia psittaci is an endangered virus.) The koala population is also still falling due to destroyed habitats. The developers are coming into koala habitat and cutting down eucalyptus, selling it and building homes. By the 2030's, the koalas will have no place to live. Now, sadly, in Sydney, koalas must cross the street to get to another eucalyptus tree. They have to go to another eucalyptus tree every once and a while because that tree is the same tree from the same forest.
A lot of koalas are now becoming roadkill.
The koala is a one of a kind animal. It is the only one of its kind.
There are two sub-species of koala though, in which there is the tiniest difference. The southern one has a darker colored fur than the northern because it is colder in the south. The koala has only one relative, the wombat. Koalas and wombats share a common ancestor from some 25 million years ago on the landmass Lauasia (an ancient landmass that separated to make South America,
Africa, and Australia.) Most people think that the koala is related to bears, that is not true, the koala is an aboreal (tree dwelling) bear. Most people also think that the koala is not harmful, that's wrong. The koala is more like a grizzly bear than a teddy bear. The koala is dangerous