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Description of Koala

´╗┐Although they are commonly referred to as "koala bears" because of the resemblance to teddy bears, koalas are not bears. The koalas are marsupials. This is one of the oldest classes of animals, existing since over fifty thousand years ago. Koalas average about twenty-six pounds in weight and thirty-one inches in length. The coat of the koala is the thickest among the marsupials and has a gray to tawny color. White coloration appears on the chin, chest, and forelimbs. The fur is short, soft, densely packed, and springy to the touch. It is the most effective fur insulation among animals. The koalas do not rely on fat beneath the skin for insulation; rather, blood flow to the extremities can be reduced as a means to conserve heat. In the rain, water runs off the koala's fur. Only sick koalas will appear to be wet when it rains.

Koala Life

Koalas are nocturnal and highly arboreal, living solitary lives high up in eucalyptus trees. Koalas are known as phalangers, because they use their hands and hind feet to effectively grip tree trunks and branches when tree climbing and jumping from tree to tree. They walk with a clumsy gait in the following sequence: front right foot then back left foot, front left foot, back right foot. They have a very specialized diet, feeding almost exclusively on the leaves of a few species of eucalyptus. The leaves provide most of their water intake; in fact, the word "koala" means "no drink" in Aboriginal languages. For an average day, a koala will consume about a pound of leaves. They are very fussy eaters, typically being very careful in selecting which leaves from a bough to ingest. The koala uses a set of thirty teeth, comprising incisors, canines, premolars, and molars, to chew the eucalyptus leaves. Each day the koala spends approximately eighteen to twenty-one hours sleeping or resting. In order to communicate, the koala uses a range of vocalizations. The male koala uses a deep, grunting bellow to communicate its physical and social position. The sound can resemble a far-off rumbling, like a motorcycle or pig snorting. During the mating season, the koala will use the bellowing as a means to locate and accurately pinpoint potential mates. The mating call is a deep, loud, guttural sound that can be heard for long distances. Female koalas do not show the same level of bellowing. Their calls communicate aggression and are part of the mating ritual. Both the male and female koalas share a similar call, sounding like a baby screaming. This is often accompanied by shaking and signals fear. Mother and cubs make soft squeaking noises to one another, as well as humming or murmuring.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Koala