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Koala - photos

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About Koala

The Koala is a marsupial endemic to Australia, and the only species in the Phascolarctidae family. They exist in Eucalypt forests on Australia's eastern seaboard which runs from Adelaide in South Australia to the base of Cape York Peninsula in Northern Queensland.

Koalas spend most of their time sleeping or resting in tree forks or branches because their diet is low in nutrition and consequently they need to save energy. They do have ever get most of their water from their diet of Eucalypt leaves. The word "koala" comes from the aboriginal word meaning "does not drink".

Koalas climb through the trees in a slow manner using their sharp claws. If they feel threatened, they can climb fast and on the ground they can gallop. Koalas can jump to a neighbouring tree if it close.

Koalas aremost similar in appearance to wombats. Their weight varies from 5 kg for a small northern female to about 14 kg for a large, southern male. They are generally very quiet animals, but males have a very loud call that can be heard during the breeding season.

Because of their cute teddy bear appearance, koalas conservation status is more secure than many other Australian animal and due to their silence and lack of movement, they coexist easily with humans. The term koala bear is incorrect because they are marsupials, not bears.



  

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Author & photographer: David Johnson (Virtual Oceania)


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