Koala bear fact

Koala bear facts

Koala bear fact # 1 – Scientific classification
The scientific name for this species is Phascolarctos cinereus. It is the only known living member of the genus Phascolarctos and family Phascolarctidae. It belongs to the order Diprotodontia where you can find kangaroos, possums, wallabies and other similar mammals.

Koala bear facts # 2 – Geographic range and habitat
Koala bears are native to the Australian continent where they traditionally inhabit a region that stretches from northern Queensland to south-western Victoria. Today, they have also been introduced to Western Australia and nearby islands. The koala bear is an arboreal animal, which means that it spends most of it life in the trees. The koalas depend on Eucalyptus for food and shelter, and can only be found in Eucalyptus forests located below 600 metres. 

Koala bear fact # 3 – Size
The male Koala is larger than the female Koala, and the animals’ size is also affected by geographical location. The southern living Koalas tend to be bigger than the other Koalas, and southern males average at 78 centimetres in length. Females from this region stay around 72 centimetres. The average weight for the southern living Koala is 11.8 for males and 7.9 for females. The other Koalas average at 6.5 kilograms and 5.1 kilograms respectively.

Koala bear facts # 4 – Other physical characteristics
In addition to being larger and heavier, the male Koala has a broader face than the female Koala. His ears are also smaller and he has a big chest gland. The female Koala has two mammae and is equipped with a characteristic pouch that opens to the rear of the animal. Both sexes have a vestigial tail.  

The paws of a Koala are big. Both fore and hind feet feature five strongly clawed digits. The Koala can grip branches and is a skilled climber tanks to its forepaws where the first and second digits oppose the rest. If you look at the first digit of the hind foot, you can see how it is short and much broadened. The second and third digit of the hind feet are small.

The Koala fur is dense and woolly and coloration varies depending on geographical location. In the northern Koalas, the coat tends to be a little shorter and lighter. The main body is grey, brown or brownish-grey on top and white patches on the rump are common in southern as well as northern Koalas. There are also distinct white parts on the chin, chest and inner side of the Koala's forelimbs. The ears are fringed with elongated white hairs.  

Koala bear facts # 5 –  Reproduction
Both male and female Koalas become sexually mature when they are around two years old, but the males are typically forced to refrain from mating until they grow older and bigger since the must be able to successfully compete with other males.

The female Koalas are seasonally polyestrous and typically produce offspring once a year. 
The estrous cycle of the female Koala extends for roughly 27-30 days and the gestation period consists of 25-35 days. Koalas give birth in the middle of the summer, which means December or January on the Australian continent.

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