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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Facts about Koalas I just did not know

I recently visited the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the largest and oldest in the world. Feeling the furry teddy-bear-like creatures had been on my wish list for a while and I am glad that I had an opportunity to do so. In Australia, you get to see kangaroos in the wild, but koalas are tricky for they live near the tops of the trees and are extremely shy. Here are the things I learnt during my four-hour excursion:

  1. Koalas are not bears. They are marsupials and more closely related to kangaroos than bears of any kind
  2. Koalas have white spots on their bottoms. They usually feed on eucalyptus leaves and the trunks of those trees are white. It's a good camouflage to avoid a predator attack from the bottom
  3. Koalas are very choosy about their food. They don't eat all species of eucalyptus and prefer only new leaves
  4. Koalas sleep for 18-20 hours a day
  5. They are lazy because their diet of eucalyptus is very low in starch/sugars. It's their way of conserving their energy
  6. Lethargic they may be, but they move quite swiftly
  7. Even in captivity, they hate being touched or petted on their heads
  8. The males have a dark patch on their chest. It's because of the scent glands. They leave their scent on trees by rubbing their chests on the trunks
  9. Northern Koalas live in Queensland and the northern region of New South Wales. Southern Koalas live in Victoria and South Australia. The northerners are a lighter shade of grey than the southerners
  10. Koalas were killed for their fur in the 19th and the early 20th centuries and were very close to extinction

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