Cute Koala Bears are not Bears!
What?! Koala Bears are not bears? Yes. That’s true. Koala bears are not categorised under the definition of a bear in the animal kingdom. They do not even relate to bears anywhere close. Then what are they? You shall come to know that soon below.
For now, let us look at some natural stats about these cute creatures. Wondering what is the scientific name of the Koala? The scientific name of Koala is Phascolarctos Cinereus which means pouched bears. They are almost only found in Australia, and mostly on conserved lands. They prefer living on open fort or woodlands, along the side of water sources. Though their habitat is declining quickly, and thus, they are being pushed to the verge of extinction. These creatures with a big head and big furry ears and black nose are surviving by minimum resources due to big land clearances and loss of habitats.
Let us read a few cute and fascinating facts about these creatures and take a step to save their species.
1. Bear but not a Bear
Koalas are not classified as bears, even though their scientific name indicates them as pouched bears. They are put under the name of Marsupials. When they are born, they are yet immature and need to develop in the safety of a pouch. Thus, they relate to species of Kangaroos and Wombats as they have a pouch to carry and care for their offsprings. Its name is associated with a bear because it resembles a teddy bear shape and size. Its original name stays as just Koalas. Though, you can take the liberty of calling them Koala bears. After, it is just a name.
2. Sleepy Koalas, Not Lazy Koalas
Koalas are believed to be lazy creatures. These nocturnal marsupials are known to spend most of their time sleeping on the branch of trees, or tucked into tree forks. They seem to be lethargic almost all the time. But since they only rely on their favourite eucalyptus plant leaves, they run low on energy. Thus, they spend 18 to 20 hours a day conserving their energies by sleeping. Though, when needed, koalas can pick up a pace of 30 km per hour in a galloping or trotting motion.
3. Butt Power for Koalas
Koala butts are very versatile when put to the ruse in their natural habitat. Interesting isn’t it? Well, this butt comes in great use when they conquer heights of the tallest eucalyptus trees in the wild. Koalas can relish a cosy nap in the tallest woody branches of tall trees with a butt that acts as a cushion by the grace of extra fur down there. They have cartilage by the end of their spine which provides more padding to the butt.
4. Fussy Eater Koalas
Koalas are known to be very picky and fussy about their diet. From over 700 different eucalyptus tree species across the world, they only feed on less than 50 out of them. Adding to the fussiness, they only prefer leaves which are on top of the tallest trees, as they are the best, with more liquid and rich with nutrients. Picky indeed. Surprisingly, they can digest all the eucalyptus leaves, which are deemed to be poisonous for all animals, with the help of their special digestive systems. Adult Koalas can consume around 1kg of eucalyptus leaves in a day.
5. Baby Koalas are Cute
Cute baby koalas are called Joeys. When baby Koalas are born, they immediately route on a journey to their mother’s pouch. At the time of birth, they are blind, furless and earless. They barely rely on their sense of smell and touch. There, they shall reside for a period of 6 months. Then after begins the piggybacking of Joeys! They travel on their mother’s back.
6. Koalas Socialising
Koalas are territorial creatures. They do not migrate long distances, but rather prefer living in a community, given their energy conservation skills. Thus, it becomes obvious that they should be socialising enough. But as a matter of fact, they only spend around 15 minutes of their day socialising with other koalas. It has been seen that koalas are good at making friends with humans as well as other fellow creatures who do not pose a threat to them. Sufficiently social.
7. Furry Bears Koalas
Koala fur is soft, or so does it seem from afar. Though, if you ever touch a koala, and you are lucky enough to pet it, the furry cute creature would fell like a ball of coarse sheep wool. Soft but coarse.
8. Koala Fingerprints
Koalas possess unique fingerprints. Apart from primates, they are the only mammals to possess this fingerprints. Their cute little paws each side have two thumbs which act as support for holding and climbing branches. The rest three fingers act just like those of other primates, for eating, holding, and itching purposes.
9. Cuddly creatures of the wild
Koalas love cuddling! Simple and straight. But if you spot a koala in the wild, you will need to earn its trust before you try and hug the koala or go for a sweet cuddle. This is important because koalas are creatures of the wild and they possess a natural fear of humans. You may make them feel stressed under your touch. Also, mind well, as much as they love cuddling you, they cannot retract their claws. This might be a once in a lifetime experience if you get to cuddle a koala, but you should be prepared for little scratches and poke marks. Happy Cuddling!
10. Smart and Sensitive much
Unlike many other average bears, koalas are smarter. They can pick on new tricks quickly, and they observe their human friends closely. More than smart, they are clever. They know how to make their way out through a difficult situation. Also, Koalas are pretty sensitive and have been found to grieve over deaths of close ones.
Koala bear populations have seen a stark fall of 90% in the wild. Though they are not officially put under the tag of endangered species, it is important to take into account this sad fact. They need conservation, and if not done quickly, they too might end up being endangered and probably extinct. Have a nice time with cute wild koalas!