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Koala

Phascolarctos cinereus
By: Fernando Molina

Description:
The koala is a marsupial that lives bushlands. They usually live 10-12 years in the wild
and 3-18 years in the zoo. Koalas also have clawed paws and a big nose that can sniff
out its favorite leaves.
Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia

Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Phascolarctidae
Genus: Phascolarctos
Species: P. Cinereus
Habitat:
The Koala has a range of habitats that they live in. They live from the coastal islands,
the tall eucalypt forests to low woodlands inland. MIllions of years ago the Koala used
to live in the rainforest because most of Australia was covered in rainforests but now
they have adapted to the new terrain and forests.
Adaptations:
One of the many adaptations of the Koala is what they eat and how they eat their food.
The Koala has a special liver that filters out the toxins in their favorite leaves, the
Eucalyptus gum leaves. The Koala also has the caecum that allows the Eucalyptus
gum leaves to become digestible nutrients.
Nutrition:
The Koala is a very picky eater because it only eats specific leaves. Their diet usually
consists of their favorite leaves, the Eucalyptus leaves. If there are no Eucalyptus
leaves in their vicinity, they will occasionally eat buds, fruit, or bark.
Reproduction:
The male Koala reproduces by stating its presence by marking a tree with its scent it
makes during the fall. When a male Koala sees another male Koala trying to reproduce
with another female Koala in its vicinity, it will fight the male Koala to reproduce with the
female Koala. The female Koala has a gestational period of 34 to 36 days. After the
baby joey is born, it crawls to its mothers pouch and firmly attach itself to the teats of the
mother.
Niche:
The Koala is a herbivore because it only eats fruits and leaves. The Koala is also
arboreal because it eats and lives in the Eucalyptus trees in the coastal islands of
Australia.
Cool facts and trivia:

Most people assume that Koala is a bear, well it is actually a marsupial,


which means that it has a pouch like a Kangaroo.
When baby Koalas are born they are the size of a jellybean.
The Koala population is falling rapidly because of deforestation.
Threats:
The Koala is on the endangered species list because their homes are being destroyed
by humans.
Solutions:
Koalas can be off the endangered species list by not cutting down the Eucalyptus trees
and planting more Eucalyptus trees so more Koalas can live in.
How can you help?
We can help the Koalas by donating Eucalyptus trees so some Koalas can have a
home and fresh food to eat.
Works Cited:
http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2007/mundt_meli/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koala