Australia is known across the world for its abundance of interesting and sometimes deadly wildlife. Luckily this vast country is also home to a much friendlier looking creature…the koala. Native to Eastern Australia this fascinating animal is one of the best parts of Australia’s wildlife. Take a look at our top 10 facts about koalas that you might not know…
- One fact about Koalas is that they certainly like their sleep. These nocturnal animals, sleep for an incredible 18-20 hours per day and then wake up for a short period at night. After a long day of sleeping an adult koala can eat anywhere between half a kilo and a kilo of leaves during these dark hours, depending on its size, sex, and type of leaves it enjoys.
- There is an urban myth that koalas ‘get drunk’ for eating gumleaves, however this isn’t exactly true. In fact, they spend a lot of time sleeping in order to conserve their energy to digest their toxic, fibrous and low-nutrition diet.
- One interesting fact about Australian koalas is how different they can look across this vast country. The fur of a koala is longer and thicker in Southern parts of Australia enabling them to cope with the colder climate in the winter months.
- If you want to know where to find koalas, then they’ll be in the eucalyptus forests. High up in these trees they make their home where they eat and sleep, rarely leaving only to search for a new tree with a better food supply.
- In order to mark his territory, a mature male koala rubs a dark sticky substance onto his trees, which is exuded from a scent gland, found in the middle of his white chest.
- Young female koalas normally give birth to one Joey per year, though older female koalas may only produce offspring every two or three years.
- Many people refer to this Australian creature as a ‘koala bear’, however they aren’t related to bears at all. Koalas are marsupials meaning their young are born immature and will further develop after birth in the comfort on their mother’s pouch.
- Joeys are only around 2cm long, blind and furless when they are born, also with ears that are not yet developed. It relies on its already well-developed sense of smell and touch, strong forelimbs and claws and sense of direction in order to find its way to its mother’s pouch. It then attaches itself to one of the teats in the pouch, which swells in its mouth to prevent it becoming dislodged from its only source of food.
- As they get all the moisture they need from the gumleaves they eat, koalas rarely need to drink water – the only exception is in times of drought, when the leaves may not contain all the moisture that they need.
- Koalas communicate with each other through a range of noises, the most startling being a belch-like ‘bellow’ and a loud snore-like sound.
The koala is just one of the many fascinating creatures that can’t be missed when heading on a trip down under. With such dramatic landscapes and diverse climates, this country is the perfect home for interesting, friendly, and sometimes deadly animals. So, when you book your tour to Australia, make sure to keep your eyes peeled as you’ll be sure to discover creatures that you’ve never seen before.
Image by Mathias Appel via Flickr.