Eats Shoots and Leaves – Koala

Koala on a eucalyptus tree

Can you guess who?

C’mon take a good guess?

Oh! Couldn’t you guess?

It’s a Koala!!

Have you ever been to Australia? Koalas are native of Australia. That’s the only place in the world where you can spot them and that too if you are lucky. First of all, these cute animals are small. Their tailless, fuzzy, stout body is only 2-3 feet in size. They weigh only between 4-10 Kilograms. Then, they are extremely shy and lazy animals and spend most of their time on a tall tree tops. It’s difficult to spot them in the canopy. Do you know what is a unique term for animals that spend most of their time on trees? Arboreal! Can you think of another animal who spends most of its time playing, sleeping, eating on trees? Monkeys!

Koalas have quite a resemblance to bears to the extent that they are sometimes even referred to as ‘koala bears’. But the fact is that they do not belong to the bear family. Koalas are marsupials, the ones who carry their young ones in a pouch. Their young ones, called joeys, hang around in their mother’s pouch for about six months after they are born.

Koalas just like to eat one thing – Eucalyptus leaves and shoots. In fact, that is the only thing they eat throughout their lifetime, And they never complain that they are bored! Can you believe it? The only one thing they are picky about is the quality. They only munch on the freshest and the juiciest bits. They have an excellent sense of smell to select the best tasting leaves. They discard more leaves than they eat in order to eat the perfect one!

You will be surprised to know that Eucalyptus leaves are toxic for other animals, but koalas have a special set of enzymes in their stomach to draw nutrition out of them. Because koalas eat such low calorie diet, they are significant sleepers. They sleep almost 20 hours in a day.

Koala population, though not endangered, is vulnerable. It is on a sharp decline due to human invasion in their territory.

Did you know?
The most peculiar feature of a koala is its nose shaped like a spoon. How cute!

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