K for Koala
Choosing a topic for the K instalment of Our A – Z of Australia was easy. Koala. Oh, all right, I could have gone for Kangaroo. That just seemed a little too easy. Besides, I wrote about kangaroo when we had a lovely dinner.
My mother chose to have her photo taken at Sydney Zoo with a snake draped around her shoulders rather than a koala. She always told me it was because she knew the koalas were a bit scared. My mother looked rather scared of the snake.
Koalas are not bears. I’ll admit they do look a little like your childhood teddy bear, but they are not bears. Koalas are marsupials. Marsupials give birth very early in the development stages of the young; the baby then crawls up to the pouch, attaches to a nipple and finishes developing in the pouch.
Koalas are nocturnal animals so getting photos of them roaming around in the daytime is difficult. Most of the time they look like this.
Koalas sleep about 20 hours a day. Man, I could do with a life like that! The video below I found at The Koala Sanctuary site. This one is actually moving! Nocturnal? How can we call something that sleeps that much nocturnal?
Another site with some lovely shots and plenty of facts about Koalas is Friends of Koalas.
Koalas have a low energy diet of about 600 to 800 grams of eucalyptus leaves a day, which is why they conserve their energy by sleeping so much. Their size varies from region to region, males being about 50% bigger than females. Depending on location, a koala weighs between 5 to 12 kilos: Victorian koalas are heavier than Queensland koalas.
While the kangaroo adorns the tail of the Qantas fleet, the koala did make an appearance when new headrests were introduced.
The biggest threats to our sleepy, cuddly looking friends are loss of habitat (as with many species of animals around the world), dog attacks, cars (koalas are not the fastest animals at any time) and chlamydia.
Koalas have a reputation for urinating on people and Oprah famously spotted two mating during her visit to Australia.
You can also pop back to J for Jellyfish and watch Jo’s Drop Bears video in the comments!
Check the above links for more facts about Australia’s not-a-bear Koala!
Visit http://myatozchallenge.com/find/countries/ to find more countries and articles on the A – Z Challenge.
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