Do you know how koalas stay cool in a heatwave, what their favorite food is, or how long they sleep for during the day? Read today's blog to find out the answers, plus more interesting facts to share with your children about koalas!
1. Koalas are native to Australia – koala fossils have been found there dating back to as long as 20 million years ago!
2. Despite what you may have heard, koalas are related to wombats and kangaroos, not bears. They are classified as marsupials because they have pouches to carry their newborns.
3. Just like kangaroos, koala babies are called ‘joeys’. They too will stay in their mother’s pouch, only to climb out and ride on her back after six months.
4. They have strong, cushioned butts to support and keep them comfortable while sitting in rough nooks in the trees as they snack on leaves.
5. Koalas are pretty fussy eaters – munching only on eucalyptus leaves! And they’ll only eat from less than 50 species of the plant, out of the 700+ that exist.
6. They have big appetites too; eating up to 1kg of leaves in a day. The leaves at the top of the tree are the tastiest and most nutritious, which is why you might see them so high up.
7. In the Australian Aboriginal language, koala means ‘no drink’. Although they do get lots of moisture from eucalyptus leaves, they do still need the occasional drink during heatwaves or droughts.
8. Giving sloths a run for their money, koalas can sleep up to 18 hours a day! They need to snooze to conserve their energy, since their diet is so low in nutrients.
9. When the weather gets hot, hot, hot, koalas will often press their body up against a tree trunk, which helps to cool them off.
10. A koala makes its home by choosing trees called its ‘home trees’. The area where these trees are found is called the koala’s ‘home range’. The range will overlap with other koalas’ ranges, but they don’t usually visit each other’s home trees unless they are breeding.