Koala

Theo Sofos Period 8 5/16/16

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Habitat

Koalas live on the eastern coast of Australia in eucalyptus forests. Eucalyptus leaves provide food and water to koalas. (Leach) Koalas spend most or all of their lives in eucalyptus trees. In fact, Koalas sleep, eat, and breed all in eucalyptus trees. (Leach) Koalas also live in captivity at zoos. Although koalas can walk on the ground, they are better off living in the canopy. (Leach) In the regions of Australia that koalas live in, it can reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Koalas have a way that they can cool themselves down with trees and they do this by conducting their heat energy into trees and getting cooler. (Klein) The climate in these regions are hot and dry in the summer but get cooler and more moist in the winter. (Klein) Koalas also live in low woodlands. (Leach)

Movement

Koalas are slow-moving animals that climb from branch to branch in trees. (Koala) They have 2 hands and 2 feet that help them climb. On each hand and foot, they have sharp claws that also help them climb. (Leach) Their feet and hands have rough skin that grip onto trees. Koalas also groom their fur with there hands.(Leach) Koalas have an excellent balance. They are able to stay on trees even when asleep! (Leach) They are slow and clumsy on the ground. This is when koalas usually get attacked. (Leach)
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Body Covering

Koalas have a thick grayish fur coat. (Koala) This fur coat helps them keep warm, cool, and dry since their fur is waterproof. (Leach) A koala's fur is waterproof because Eucalyptus leaves contain a large amount of oil. This oil oozes out of the koalas skin and when heavy rain pours onto a koala's fur it just runs off the koalas fur. (Leach) Koalas are also tailless and have large furry ears so they can hear a lot. (Koala) Their fur can also be brownish and it is white underneath. (Augee)
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Diet

The Koala has perhaps the most specialized diet out of all mammals. (Koala) Koalas mainly eat eucalyptus leaves and young shoots. They also obtain all their water from eucalyptus leaves. (Augee) Wild koalas rarely drink water. In fact, the word koala comes from an Australian aboriginal word that means "no drink". (Augee) Eucalyptus leaves aren't very nutritious so koalas sleep up to 18 hours a day. That's how they get the energy they need. (Jozefowicz) Eucalyptus leaves are poisonous to most other animals but luckily, koalas have microbes ,called bacteria, in their digestive systems. (Leach)

Reproduction

Did you know that when a koala is born, it is about the size of a grape? (Leach) A koala gives birth to live young. (Koala 2) Female koalas give birth. (Augee) A female koala is ready to mate at 2 years old but males mate at about 4 years old. (Leach) A koala is born about 1 month after Fertilization. (Koala 2) When a koala is born, it is tiny, and poorly developed. (Augee) After a koala is born, it will remain in its mother's pouch for 6 more months, suckling on it's mother's nipples. (Leach) A koala will live up to 20 years. (Koala 2)
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Adaptations

Koalas adapt to eating Eucalyptus leaves by using special bacteria in its digestive system to extract the poison from a eucalyptus leaf. Also, a koala sleeps for about 18 hours because eucalyptus leaves don't provide much energy. (Leach) koalas adapt to living in the rain by having waterproof fur. Their fur is waterproof because the oil in the Eucalyptus leaves ooze out of a koalas skin. (Leach) Koalas adapt to having a weak, useless body when they are born by living in their mothers pouch for the first 6 months of their lives. (Leach)

Other Info

  • Koalas are mammals
  • Koalas scientific name is Phascolarctos cinereus which means "ash-colored pouch bear" (Leach)
  • There are between 40,000 and 80,000 koalas in the wild
  • Koalas are herbivores
  • Koalas can live up to 20 years
  • Koalas are 23.5 to 33.5 inches in length
  • Fully grown male koalas are about 26 pounds
  • Fully grown female koalas are about 18 pounds
  • Koalas fight for mates (Leach)
  • Only about 10 zoos and nature parks not in Australia have Koalas. (Leach)
  • Koalas are sometimes called "koala bears" but they are not bears (Leach)
  • Koalas are marsupials
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Work Cited

Augee, Michael L. "Koala." World Book. 2016. N. pag. World Book Advanced. Web. 11 May 2016. <http://www.worldbookonline.com/advanced/article?id=ar303400&st=koala#tab=homepage>.


Jozefowicz, Chris. "Follow That Koala!" Weekly Reader-4 27 Oct. 2006: n. pag. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 11 May 2016. <http://discoverer.prod.sirs.com/discoweb/disco/do/article?urn=urn%3Asirs%3AUS%3BARTICLE%3BART%3B0000268096>.


Klein, Andrew. "Chilling out." ScienceSpin Mar. 2015: 1+. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 15 May 2016. <http://discoverer.prod.sirs.com/discoweb/disco/do/article?urn=urn%3Asirs%3AUS%3BARTICLE%3BART%3B0000371171>.


"Koala." The Columbia Electronic Enyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016. N. pag. Gale Research. Web. 10 May 2016. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?sort=RELEVANCE&docType=Brief+article&tabID=T001&prodId=MSIC&searchId=R2&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchType=BasicSearchForm&contentSegment=&currentPosition=1&searchResultsType=MultiTab&inPS=true&userGroupName=auro18260&docId=GALE%7CA69213784&contentSet=GALE%7CA69213784>.


"Koala." SIRS Discoverer: Animal Facts. 2015. N. pag. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 12 May 2016. <http://discoverer.prod.sirs.com/discoweb/disco/do/article?urn=urn%3Asirs%3AUS%3BARTICLE%3BART%3B0000366721>.


Leach, Michael. Koala. Austin: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 2003. Print.