The koala is rather like the wombat in the way it looks but is a great deal more furry and Koalas are built with extremely long and very sharp claws which help them to climb and to protect themselves.
They may weight about 30 pounds for a male, to 10 pounds for a female.
Although people believe them to be warm cuddly animals, they truly are not. Their fur is very coarse and their temperament is not pleasant.
Koalas are usually quiet but during mating season they are extremely loud and unruly in their vocalizing.
One interesting thing about the Koala is that it has hands which are so much like human hands that even under a microscope it is difficult to tell the difference.
They have very small brains, with about ½ of the cranial cavity filled instead with fluid. They are the only animal that exists today whose brain look nearly exactly like walnut halves, sitting on top of the brain stem, and neither touches the other, nor do they touch the wall of the skull.
Female koalas may begin to breed at about 3 years while males mature later.
For the next twelve years the female may have one child per year.
They gestate about 40 days and produce one child of each mating. While twins do happen they happen only about 1 percent of the time.
Mating is during December and March while the little ones are born in January through June.
Like a kangaroo a baby koala is called a Joey. He is born blind and deaf with no hair on his body. He is born just a quarter of an inch long and crawls to his mother pouch where he will stay feeding only on milk for about 5 months. While he is in the pouch he will grow his eyes, ears and his fur.
He will then begin to go outside the pouch and explore both on and off the mothers body.
Baby koalas are not born begin able to digest eucalyptus leaves.
To get the microbes that will help him to do so, he will consume his mother’s excrement, which will inoculate him to be able to eat.
The baby Koala will remain with the mother for another six months, on her back, and feeding on milk and eucalypt leaves. Female children will usually leave the area to somewhere nearby, while young boys will stay with the mother until they are two or three years of age.
The Koalas were killed off, almost to extinction in the early 20th century, mostly for its lovely fur. Recently there have been some very vast damages to the Koala by a disease called Chlamydia.
Find out more about the Koala over at Wikipedia »