Koalas Eat Gum Leaves by Laura Bunting
The Koalas Diet & Digestion
Across their range in Australia they are found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia and are NOT considered endangered but are classified as vulnerable and have been added to the threatened species list. However, some local isolated populations of koala could be considered endangered due to habitat loss through housing development. Their food trees are threatened and therefore they could face local extinction. The female reaches sexual maturity at the end of her second year or later and physical maturity at the end of her fourth year. Males — about 3 years sexual maturity and reach physical maturity at 4 years.
As one of the most iconic animal species endemic to Australia, the koala is well-known for its bear-like appearance with a stout body and predominately gray fur. Often found climbing in the canopy of trees, koalas are fuzzy and muscular marsupials that are the only remaining representative of their family on Earth. To learn more about this teddy bear lookalike, read on to find out some of the lesser-known fun facts about koalas! Did You Know? Koalas fur is different in different parts of Australia. In the southern parts of Australia it is longer and shaggier than in the north in order to keep them warm in the cold southern winters. The closest relative of the koala is the wombat.
Some people think that koalas sleep a lot because they get drunk on the eucalyptus oil in gum leaves. Koalas sleep or rest for up to 22 hours each day because their bodies need a lot of energy to digest the gum leaves and when they are sleeping they save energy. Very few animals can survive on a diet of gum leaves. They are very fibrous and low in nutrition, and this is why they take a lot of energy to digest. As well, to almost all other animals they are poisonous. However, koalas are especially adapted to eat this diet. They have a special part in their intestine, called a caecum pronounced see-kum , which goes off from their main intestine and has a blind end.
Eucalyptus leaves are very fibrous and low in nutrition, and to most animals are so that Koalas rarely need to drink, although they can do so if necessary, such as in times Each Koala eats approximately to grams of leaves per day.
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