Koala

Koalas have soft, wool-like fur that is gray above and white below. Their fur is mostly white on the underside below the neck, and their ears have long white hairs on the tips. The koala resembles a bear, but is actually a marsupial, a special kind of mammal which carries its young in a pouch.

Size

Koalas are rather small, round animals. They weigh about 30 pounds and on average grow to be 2 feet tall.

koala picture

Population

There are fewer than 100,000 koalas.

Lifespan

Koalas can live as long as 17 years, although high mortality rates (due to car fatalities and dogs) for males lower their life expectancy to 2 to 10 years.

Range

The koala’s historic range stretches across Australia. Today they can be found only in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia.

Habitat

Koalas prefer to live in eucalyptus forests, coastal islands, and low woodlands.

Food

Koalas consume eucalyptus leaves and bark from 12 different eucalyptus tree species. They also consume mistletoe and box leaves. Koalas consume eucalyptus leaves and bark from 12 different eucalyptus tree species. They also consume mistletoe and box leaves.

Behavior

Nocturnalmammals, koalas sleep for up to 16 hours a day. They are arboreal, which means that they live in trees. They do not live in big groups but rather prefer to be alone.

Offspring

Koalas breed once a year. Gestation lasts 35 days, after which one koala is born. The baby koala is very small when it is born, and lives in its mother’s pouch for five to seven months. After this time, koalas gradually become independent and survive on their own.