01.02.2015

Koala pregnancy facts

When early European settlers first encountered koalas in Australia, they thought the tree-climbing animals were bears or monkeys. Koalas have special physical characteristics that complement their tree-dwelling lifestyle.
Koalas inhabit the forests of eastern Australia, but there are a few differences between northern and southern subspecies.
After the joey spends 6 months in the pouch developing, the mother koala will produce a special substance called pap. Koalas can live around 10-15 years, and they have only a few natural predators, including dingoes, large owls, eagles, and goannas, which generally only target juveniles.


If you would like to help koalas, you can write to the Australian Environment Minister to advocate listing the Southeast Queensland koala population as critically endangered and protecting koala habitat more effectively.
Unlike kangaroo pouches, which open towards the top, koala pouches are located towards the bottom of their bodies and open outward.
A home range consists of suitable trees that provide food and shelter and overlaps slightly with other koalas’ home ranges. The baby koala, or joey, won’t fall out of the pouch because the mother koala uses a strong sphincter muscle to keep the pouch closed. Although there are 600 types of eucalyptus trees, koalas generally limit their diet to two or three favorite kinds.


Koalas define their territories by making scratch marks on trees; males also secrete a sticky brown substance from a scent gland in their chests that they rub on the bark. Extra thick fur on their bottoms and a cartilaginous pad at the base of their spines provide cushioning so koalas can sit comfortably on branches for hours.
But koalas have bacteria in their stomachs that break down the fiber and toxic oils and allow them to absorb 25% of the nutrients.



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