10 Fun Facts About Koalas

In this video I share with you 10 Fun Facts About Koalas! I hope that all of you have enjoyed the video and learned something new as well.

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═════════════════════ 10 Fun Facts About Koalas ═══════════════════════

1. Koalas are often called koala bears. This is inaccurate as koalas are not bears, rather they are marsupials. Many believe that the common usage of "Koala bear" started when Europeans first came to Australia. They thought that Koalas looked like bears so they were often called ‘Koala bears’. This confusion may have then lead to a misleading family name "Phascolarctidae". Phasco- means pouch or bag, and larct- from the Greek word 'arctos' means bear.

2. On a sad note, koalas are the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae. All other family members from 8 other Genus' are now all extinct and Koalas are now the only lone family member. This is even more reason to protect and cherish the Koalas.

3. The koala's gestation period lasts 33–35 days. After which time the female gives birth to a joey, although twins occur on occasion. The young joeys are born while at the embryonic stage, weighing only half a gram. The joey keeps developing inside the pouch and emerges at around six to seven months of age and by this time is around 300-500 grams. At around nine months of age the joey tries to grasp at branches and leaves its mothers back. Over the next few months the joey spends more and more time away from its mother and at around 12 months of age it is fully weaned.

4. Koalas typically inhabit open eucalypt woodlands, and the leaves of these trees make up most of their diet. Because this eucalypt diet has limited nutritional and caloric content, koalas are largely sedentary and sleep up to 20 hours a day.

5. Koalas have cheek pouches, which are able to store food before it is ready to be chewed and consumed.

6. Charles Darwin suggested that This theory is supported by various herbivorous animals including the koala whos appendix helps digest leaves, by harboring bacteria that helps break down the cellulose in leaves.

7. Adult males communicate with loud bellow, these low pitched sounds consists of snore-like inhalations and resonant exhalations that sound like growls.

8. 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.

9. A mature male has a dark scent gland in the centre of his white chest which exudes a dark, sticky substance. He rubs this on his trees to indicate to other Koalas that this is his territory.

10. Koalas were heavily hunted by European settlers in the early 20th century, largely for its thick, soft fur. During this time millions of Koalas were killed and more than two million pelts are estimated to have left Australia by 1924.

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