koala: Habits, Diet and Other Facts
The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is a vertebrate animal of the class Mammalia, subclass Metatheria, order Diprotodontia, and family Phascolarctidae. The koala is native to Australia, is herbivorous, and spends most of its life on trees.
Koalas are animals that live in Australia, mainly in the Northeast, Central and Southeast regions of Queensland. They have a coat that varies in color between gray and brown, can reach about 85 centimeters in length and weigh up to 13 kilograms. Besides these characteristics, we can also highlight:
- They present syndactyly, that is, a condition in which the fusion of one or more fingers occurs - in koalas, this condition manifests itself in their hind limbs, where the fusion of two of their fingers occurs. Syndactyly is a characteristic of the order Diprotodontia;
- They have the lower incisors protruding forward, also a characteristic of the order Diprotodontia;
- They are endothermic animals, that is, the temperature of their bodies does not vary according to the temperature of the environment, remaining relatively constant;
- They are herbivores;
- They have a marsupium, i.e., a pouch on the front part of the female's body, where the young complete their embryonic development. (We will give more emphasis to this topic when we talk about reproduction).
- Koalas live about 15 years, although some studies report cases of animals that have lived up to 18 years of age in the wild;
- Koalas spend much of their time sleeping, they sleep about 18 hours a day;
- Koalas live, virtually all of the time, up in the trees;
- Koalas, although they are called bears, are actually not. Bears are animals belonging to the order Carnivora and the family Ursidae, different biological classifications than koalas.