One of Australia’s most famous animals is koalas(Bears). These arboreal herbivorous marsupials are native in Australia since way back 60,000 years ago or maybe more. They usually live in tall eucalypt forests and low woodlands somewhere in mainland eastern Australia.
Though they are most commonly known as sleepy little bears, the truth is that they aren’t bears. Since they are born immature and rely on their mothers to mature, they are called marsupial. Below are a few of the most exciting facts about these cute little animals.
The most commonly known and the most interesting of all the koala facts is their sleep time. Unlike other specific animals who live in the wild, most koalas sleep up to 20 hours a day. This means that they don’t need to hibernate for a long time. Since Australia is on the more tropical side of the globe, koalas don’t need to hibernate. So they sleep long hours every day to make up for that.
Also, since their diet mostly consists of Eucalyptus, the koalas’ digestive system takes time and works hard to digest and break down all the toxins that the Eucalyptus have. That is why they need to sleep longer than other animals. Their diet gives them minimal nutrients, which limits their movements.
Size does matter for Bears
Male koalas are about 50% bigger than the female koalas. This means, if ever you had the chance to visit Australia and meet a bunch of koalas, you would immediately differentiate the male from the female ones.
And because of this fact, all of the experiments done by scientists have been a lot easier. They don’t need to come close to the koala and check personally to ensure if what they are working on is a male or a female. Even the kids who know this fact would quickly differentiate a male from the female koalas.
Eucalyptus of Bears
The word koala came from an indigenous language Dharug called “Gula,” which translates to “No Water” due to how rare this species drinks water. Since they do not move a lot, they don’t dehydrate themselves a lot. That means they don’t need much water to drink.
They can get all the water they need in eucalyptus leaves. This means they eat and drink water at the same time. This should be enough for them, considering that they eat approximately 200 to 500 grams of eucalyptus leaves every day. Sometimes, they also drink by licking moisture running down the trees.
Many of the adult koalas suffer from the disease Chlamydiaceae. This is a severe disease that almost all of the koalas have. Adult koalas get this disease usually through sexual transmission. Still, many young koalas are suffering from this also, and they typically get it by eating pap (a nutritious type of feces excreted by their mothers).
This disease is one of the top killers of the koalas due to this frequently leading to blindness, infertility, severe bladder inflammation, which also leads to death. Many scientists also tried everything they could to cure this but always failed due to some koalas complications to antibiotics.
A little over ten years
Both can have different lifespans depending on where they live. In the wilderness, the male koalas live up to 10-15 years, and the female koalas have a little bit longer lifespans, which is 15-18 years. But if they are bred in captivity, both of them usually live up to 15 or more years.
Though koalas only live for only a limited time here on earth, they always do their best to thrive and adapt to whatever situation they are in. They are one of the most overlooked species on the planet due to their silent way of living. Despite the struggles they face, they still manage to survive and look cute at the same time.