Children's Author Bonnie Lee | Children's Books | Educational Children's Books
koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
Koalas are marsupials, related to kangaroos. Koalas and most other marsupials live in Australia and neighboring islands. The word koala may come from an Aboriginal word meaning no drink. Although koalas do drink when necessary, they obtain most of the moisture they need from leaves.
Most marsupials have pouches where the tiny newborns develop. A koala mother usually gives birth to one joey at a time.
A female koala is pregnant for only 35 days before giving birth; most of the joey’s growth and development takes place in the mother’s pouch.
Once a newborn koala latches onto a nipple in its mother’s pouch, the nipple swells in its mouth so the joey can’t be separated from its food source.
Koalas have thick woolly fur that protects them from both heat and cold. It also acts like a raincoat.
Koalas have thick, grayish fur, with white on their chests, inner arms, and ears. They have large furry ears and leathery noses. Mature males have brown scent glands in the center of their white chests. They rub these on their home trees to mark their territory.
Koalas live in trees, sometimes coming down to the ground to seek shade or another tree. They occasionally jump from one tree to the next. In an ideal habitat in the wild, male koalas live about 10 years, while females may live a few years longer.
Koalas are found in the wild only in the forests of eastern Australia.
Koalas live in bushland with other koalas. Each has its own home trees which are generally not visited by other koalas except in mating season.
Koalas have their own built-in cushion! The fur on a koala’s bottom is extra thick so that the koala can comfortably rest in trees.
Koalas spend as many as 18-20 hours a day napping and resting.
Though koalas look like teddy bears and are sometimes even referred to as koala bears, they are not bears.
Koalas smell like cough drops because of their diet of here are many kinds of eucalyptus trees. Koalas will eat from only a few of these; a koala can eat 2 1/2 pounds of eucalyptus leaves a day.
A koala’s territory is up to 100 trees.