Koala Facts

Some Koala Facts You May Or May Not Know

A trip to Australia wouldn't be complete without getting a glimpse of one of it's much loved natives, the Koala. I'm going to let you in on some koala information that you may or may not know and hopefully by the end of this article you'll have gathered an interesting insight into the little creature.

1. Koalas are often called koala bears because they look cute and cuddy, but this is totally wrong. They are actually marsupials which means they carry their babies in a pouch, like the kangaroo.

2. Koalas are nocturnal and spend most of their day sleeping, only getting up to move after sunset. They actually spend a whopping 75% of their time asleep.

3. One of the most worrying koala facts is that the population in Australia has dropped by 90% in less than a decade and this is as a result of their natural habit being destroyed and taken away from them. Whilst koalas are protected their homes are not.

4. Koala fur is different in different parts of Australia. In Southern Australia it is longer and shaggier than it is in the north, in order to keep them warm.

5. Koalas can only live in one place in the world and this is Australia where they live in the eucalyptus forests. They hop from tree to tree, climbing up to reach the leaves. They eat over 1 kilogram (2.5 pounds) of leaves a day, and because they eat so many leaves, they smell of eucalyptus.

Mike's Tip! You can be almost guaranteed to see a Koala in their natural environment on the side of Cape Otway Road, on the way to the lighthouse.

6. Koalas have no sweat glands and cool themselves by licking their arms and stretching out in trees. They drink very little water as most of the moisture they needs comes from eucalyptus leaves.

7. The koala sleeps a lot and this is because he has a very low metabolism which is caused by the high fibre, low nutrient diet of eucualyptus leaves. Consequently because he stores very little fat he has to conserve energy and this is best done by sleeping.

8. Koalas live in groups and this is why they need a large enough forest to support a large populationof koalas. Even after a koala has died, his territory will remain vacant for up to a year until all of his scent and scratch markings have completely disappeared.

9. Here's some koala facts about it's physical apearance. He has extra thick fur on his neck and shoulders to keep him warm in even the most harsh conditions because he does not build a nest. His body is pear shaped to provide extra stability when sitting in trees. Opposable toes and thumbs give him a better grip when climbing and rough pads on the underside of his hands and feet also help to increase traction when climbing.

10. A Koala baby is called a “joey” and is born blind and less than an inch long, weighing less than 1 gram. They find their way unaided into the mother's pouch and stay there for the next six months drinking milk from their mother's teat.

I hope you've enjoyed these koala facts and that you get to see them in their natural environment.

Koala Facts --> The Great Ocean Road Homepage