Flora & Fauna
•Scientific Name:Phascolarctos cinereus
•Common Name:KoalaOther Name(s):Koala Bear
A Koala is born:When the mother Koala gives birth, the little joey Koala makes its way to the pouch all by itself, with no help from its mother. One of the most amazing things about this is that the Koala joey is blind when it is born, and relies totally on its well-developed senses of touch and smell and strong forelimbs and claws to help it get to the pouch.
Koala Joey Jelly-bean?:The new-born joey weighs less than one gram and looks something like a pink jellybean. It is roughly 2cm long, blind, hairless, and looks very different to the cute, fluffy little bundle that it will become later. Once inside the safety of its mother’s pouch, the little joey attaches itself to a teat which swells to fill its mouth. It takes several months for the joey to grow and develop, drinking its mother’s milk until it first shows its little face to the world.
Another amazing thing about the life of a joey Koala:When the joey is about 6-7 months old it is ready to begin weaning from milk to gumleaves. To do this, the mother Koala passes on the micro-organisms in her stomach that are necessary to make the digestion of gumleaves possible to her joey. She does this by producing a substance called ‘pap’ which is a specialised form of faeces (or koala poo). Unlike normal hard, dry Koala pellets, ‘pap’ is soft and runny in consistency.
Life outside the pouch:As soon as it begins its diet of gumleaves, the young Koala grows at a much faster rate, becoming more adventurous as it grows bigger and stronger. At first, the young Koala cuddles into its mother’s belly for warmth and shelter but also rides on its mother’s back. Eventually, the young Koala will begin to make short trips away from its mother.
All grown up:From 12 months onwards, Koala joeys leave their mothers to find their own home ranges. That’s when life gets harder for young Koalas because they have to find their own territory -- somewhere with the right tree species with tasty gumleaves to eat and somewhere near to other Koalas. And hopefully somewhere that is safe from threats like habitat destruction, cars and dogs. The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that at least 4000 Koalas are killed by cars and dogs each year and habitat destruction is the greatest threat to the Koala’s long term survival.
- Koalas are not bears. They are not placental or 'eutherian' mammals, but MARSUPIALS, which means that their young are born immature & they develop further in the safety of a pouch. It’s incorrect to call them ‘Koala bears' - their correct name is simply 'Koalas'.
- Habitat loss is the greatest threat to Koalas. The main reasons for this are land clearing, bushfires and diseases of the eucalypts, like ‘dieback' which cause the trees to die. The AKF wants a Koala Protection Act, which means that Koala trees can’t be touched.
-Koalas have 5 digits on each front paw, two of which are opposed to the others, much like our thumbs are able to be moved differently from the fingers. This helps them to hold firmly onto the branches and to grip their food. The 2nd and 3rd digits on their hind paws are fused together to form a grooming claw.
- Koalas are mostly nocturnal. Nocturnal animals are awake at night and asleep during the day. Koalas, however, sleep for part of the night and also sometimes move about in the daytime. They often sleep for up to 18-20 hours each day.
-Koalas also communicate with each other by making a range of noises. The most startling and unexpected of these in such a seemingly gentle animal is a sound like a loud snore and then a belch
Source : https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koala