If among the animals there was a popularity rating, then, of course, the koala would occupy one of the leading positions. Outwardly, these animals are similar to teddy bears, which causes a great delight in people. The wool of the koalas is very thick and has a gray tint, the eyes are small, but the ears are disproportionately large, the tail is short, the paws are small with long sharp claws.
Koalas belong to the family of the Marsupials and live in Eastern and Southern Australia – in the states of Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Notable is the fact that koalas do not live on the island of Tasmania, but there are small populations of koalas on Kangaroo Island. There are reliable facts that in the past koalas also lived in the West of Australia, but, unfortunately, were exterminated by man. It should be noted that these animals do not occur anymore on any continent, except for Australia. These lovely animals live on our planet for more than 34 million years.
The first settlers on the mainland gave this animal various names, such as “sloth”, “monkey” and “bear”. For a long time there was a myth that koalis are relatives of bears. However, it is not. These animals are the only representatives of their family. Koalas live in eucalyptus forests, and their favorite delicacy are the leaves of these evergreen trees. And although in Australia more than 700 species of eucalyptus grow, koals eat only 50 leaves, as the leaves of individual eucalyptus trees are extremely toxic. From the leaves of koalas receive the necessary amount of water for life, and these animals consume water in small amounts in small quantities or do not use at all.
Nowadays, during natural disasters, when forest fires are blazing in Australia, koalas sometimes come to people for water. These animals can also swim well, and willingly demonstrate their skills in swimming in hot climates when they want to refresh themselves.
Koalas are very slow animals. They may not move much of the day. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the leaves of eucalyptus, which make up the diet of koalas are very low-calorie. Descend from the trees, these animals are extremely rare if they want to change the tree. However, despite their sluggishness and awkward appearance, koalas can quickly jump from one tree to another. During their small travels through the land, koalas become an object of hunting for predators such as foxes, dogs and dingoes. The danger can come from a person – koals run the risk of getting under the wheels of cars.
During the daytime these animals prefer to rest on trees, and to make small walks try at night, which is a safer option for them. During the day koala eat about a kilogram of eucalyptus leaves.
Koalas multiply every two years, which makes them not prolific animals. Usually females during one period of pregnancy, which lasts just over a month, give life to one, less often to two cubs. Kids are not born large, their weight is only about 5 grams. The first time after birth, about six months, the cubs are in the bag of the mother, who is on her back. Toddler koalas are very attached to their mother, and they can make sounds that sound like a child crying if they feel alone. At the same time, koalas are very quiet animals and, as a rule, do not make any sounds. In rare cases, koalas scream. This happens with the wounded, left alone or feeling the danger of animals. Only at the age of the year they begin an independent life.
According to the results of the study, it was revealed that the sense of smell of koalas is much better than vision. This feature allows animals to distinguish smells around with great accuracy. It is a highly developed sense of smell that helps them to distinguish between eucalyptus varieties and not to be too toxic. It is interesting that these animals have fingerprints that practically do not differ from the fingerprints of a person, even under an electron microscope.