Five Cool Facts About Koalas!
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo has two adorable new arrivals, with proud mums Kyara and Sammy giving birth to joeys. To celebrate, we’ve got some cool facts about these fascinating creatures. Have a read then go pay them a visit, and see if you can spot them clinging to their mums up in the treetops!
Eat Your Greens
Koalas are very fussy eaters. They only eat eucalyptus leaves, but out of around 600 species, they’ll only eat one or two favourites. And from that, they use their impeccable smell to pick only the most tasty eucalyptus leaves! Keep that in mind when the kids are picky with their vegetables at dinner – it could be a lot worse!
Mum’s The Word
Koala pregnancies last about 35 days, but then once the baby is born it stays with mum in her pouch for around six months. The babies are born very tiny – only 2cm long! – and are hairless, blind, and have underdeveloped ears. It takes a while for them to properly develop, so they need to stick with Mum for a long time!
A koala’s home is made up of several ‘home trees’, within an area known as their ‘home range’. Each home range overlaps with the home range of other koalas, so although they’re solitary animals, they’re never too far from their neighbours. The size of their home range varies based on factors like age and sex, and even their social standing, meaning the snootiest koalas have the biggest property portfolios!
Avoiding The Crowds
There is a maximum number of koalas that can live in a forest, based on its size. Kind of like rooms in a sharehouse, there is only so much space for koalas to ensure their home range is of a suitable size.
No Drinks For Us, Please
The word ‘koala’ comes from one of Australia’s many Indigenous languages, and means ‘no drink’. This is because koalas generally get enough water from all the eucalyptus leaves they eat, and don’t need to leave their trees to drink. They do, however, move down from their trees to drink at watering holes, creeks and rivers during droughts, when trees have less water in their leaves.