The Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
Updated: Nov 14, 2019
These little furry fellas are also referred to as Koala Bears. But in fact, there are not even related to the bear at all. Due to their popularity and cuteness, it might be best to look further into these animals, and maybe even bust some myths about them.
Physical Description and Behavior
They are not a bear but are actually a marsupial. This means that they have a pouch on their bellies to hold their young. This is similar to what is seen in the Kangaroo as well and helps them to carry their young as they are climbing trees for food.
A fascinating part about them is that they have six opposable thumbs. Two on each front paw and one each on the back paws. These help them climb trees as well as pick food from the trees to be able to eat them. They are herbivores and they eat almost entirely eucalyptus leaves.
Koalas, like students, are typically asocial. Many spending only 15 minutes a day socializing with other koalas. A lot of the interactions they have with other koalas generally are related to having sex or fighting. Again, similar to students.
Habitat and Location
Koalas are found entirely in the eastern portions of Australia. While they have been introduced to some places in the south, the majority of them can be found in Riparian Zones around Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne. They prefer forested areas close to a river or water supply.
These small marsupials are classified as Vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List. Their population is decreasing right now due to loss of habitat, as well as climate change. Building roads, houses, logging, and the like takes way from the Koalas habitat, thus giving them fewer places to live. As of today, it is suspected that only 300,000 of them remain.
Check out this awesome video on Koalas!