Koala is a Greek word that means pouch. A koala bear is known as bear due to its name but in reality it is not, and should be called only koala instead of koala bear because it does not belong to bear family. In some countries, Koalas are known as part of the panda family because they eats like them and prefer to live their life in trees but that does not make koala a bear or panda.
Koalas in the southern parts of Australia are considerably larger and have thicker fur than those in the north, having adapted to the colder southern winters. Koalas are not bears, but are marsupials. This means their young are born immature and develop in the mother’s pouch.
Koalas started being called bears in 18th century when English settlers started naming the birds and animals on the basis of their appearance or the animals they were already familiar with. In 18th and 19th centuries and even still in many parts of world koalas are called by different names like money bear and tree bear. These names were also created the same way that the koala got the bear added by the English settler.
When born, the baby koalas, called joeys, are only about 2 centimeters long and stay in their mother’s pouch for six to seven months. Koalas live off the leaves of eucalyptus trees, eating up to one to two pounds per day. They do not drink much water, getting what they need mostly from the leaves.
A mature male koala has a dark scent gland in the center of his chest that produces a dark, sticky substance. He will rub this onto trees to mark his territory. Koalas sleep up to 18 hours per day and are mostly nocturnal animals.
Fun facts about Koala:
- Koala’s fur look very cuddly and soft but in reality it is not, they are somehow like sheep fur and not really cuddly at all
- Koala’s hug tree most of time because in Australia the temperature in summer is very hot while the temperature of the tree is much cooler, keeping the koala cool in the summer hear
- Koala’s are not a good pet as they prefer solitude and to be by themselves
- Koala’s does not drink much water because it fulfills the requirement of water through its food, Eucalyptus leaves, which contain most of the water the koala needs.
- Koala’s belongs to Phascolarctidae family and it is somehow known the only living animal from phascolarctide family.
- Koalas eat Eucalyptus leaves, which are poisonous leaves, that can kill human and other animals but surprisingly eucalyptus leaves do not affect the koala at all, due to its teeth. Eucalyptus leaves are koala’s favorite food.
- Just like other animal, especially sloths, koalas is very slow and slow moving animal and prefer to stay in tree and prefer to do any physical activities at all.
A koala is not a bear, or related to the bear family at all. They are a part of the marsupial family, which also contains the kangaroo, opossum, and Tasmanian devil, just to name a few. Koalas are mammals, just like bears, and look similar to many in the bear family, but that is where most of the similarities stop.