Koalas are marsupials,  closer relatives to kangaroos and wombats. Koalas are not bears but still many people refer koalas as koala bears, it is because of early European settlers when first encountered koalas they thought that these tree climbing animals are monkeys or bears.


Koala’s babies are called joeys that stay in the pouch of female koalas until they are developed. Koala’s pouches open outward and are located at the bottom. Mother koalas use sphincter muscle for keeping pouch closed so that their baby koalas (joeys) don’t fall out. Koala mother can only birth one joey (baby) at a time.

koala-eatingKoalas pick eucalyptus leaves which are the main source of their nourishment for them with their fore-paws which are well adapted for gripping branches. Their thigh muscles are strong which help them in climbing and their skin is tough under their feet which combined with long sharp claws provide friction during climbing and walking on the branches. Koalas can sit comfortably sit on the branches for many hours because they have thick fur at the bottom and their base of the spine have a cartilaginous pad.

Koalas mostly eat eucalyptus leaves. They have the ability to select best testing leaves through their excellent sense of smell. Koalas limit their diet to few kinds of eucalyptus trees from over 600 kinds.

Average life span of koalas is around 15 years. Currently, Koalas are not endangered species and they have few predators to avoid but they still face many threats in their survival from humans.


Cite this Page

Abdul Wahab, "Koala," in science4fun - Learn Science with Experiments and Topics, November 27, 2018, http://science4fun.info/koala/.