What do brown prionid beetles eat

Koala bear
Phascolarctos cinereus

Koalas(Phascolarctus cinereus)


The koala is a cute, round ball of fluff with sharp claws and a large nose. This famous marsupial is Australia's premier icon. Contrary to the misconception that koalas inhabit all of Australia, they only occur in small, fragmented habitats on the east coast of Australia.

This fragmentation of the habitat is the result of deforestation for livestock, grain production and construction.

Koalas are very picky about their food. They only eat 50 of the 600 species of eucalyptus in Australia. The belief that the leaves have an intoxicating effect on the koala is also a myth: eucalyptus leaves contain 50% water and 5% sugar or starch. A diet with a very low energy yield, which is why you save energy by sleeping around 19 hours a day, which in turn makes you appear intoxicated.

Koalas have rough leg pads and sharp claws that allow them to climb trees. They have two fingers on the front paw and one opposite finger on the rear paw, and they also have fused toes on their rear paw, which they use to scratch. Koalas have individual fingerprints like humans.

The word koala comes from the Aboriginal language and means “don't drink”. This name came from the fact that koalas almost never come down from the trees to drink water, as they get much of the amount of water they need from the eucalyptus leaves they eat.

If you live in a koala habitat and want to help protect this unique animal, planting koala trees is the best thing you can do. To find out what types of eucalyptus trees you could plant, click the icon below.

ABOUT KOALAS: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q What do koalas eat?

A koalas only eat special varieties of eucalyptus leaves; Of the 600 different species, koalas only eat about 50 on a regular basis. In south-east Queensland there are about 100 species of eucalyptus and of these, koalas only eat 20. Eucalyptus leaves contain about 50% water, so koalas do not need an additional water source. Koala is a native word that means “don't drink”, although koalas do drink water from time to time. In the protected area, the animals are given freshly cut leaves Monday to Friday at 3 p.m. and on weekends at 9 a.m.

Q Can koalas swim?

A koalas are not good swimmers, but can save themselves if necessary.

Q How much does a koala weigh?

A Male Queensland koalas can weigh up to 9 1/2 pounds - and female koalas up to 7 pounds. In Victoria it is possible to find koalas weighing up to 14 kilograms.

Q How long do koalas sleep?

A koalas sleep around 18 hours a day and can thus retain their energy reserves.

Q How old do koalas get?

A Koalas live an average of 10 to 12 years in the wild. In the Lone Pine Conservation Area, koalas are protected from predators, extreme temperatures and irregular feeding and can therefore live to be 12 to 15 years old.

Q How do koalas stay clean?

A koalas groom themselves by combing their fur with their back claws. The second and third toes are connected and are such a good grooming tool.

Q Koalas often look drunk. - Is it you?

A eucalyptus leaves do not make koalas drunk. Because of the low energy content of the eucalyptus leaves, however, the koalas often appear sleepy.

Infant koala

Jellybean babies
Koalas have a short gestation period of 33 to 35 days. At birth, a koala joey weighs less than a gram and looks a lot like a pink jelly candy.

Pouch life
The newborn koala has a well-developed sense of smell and touch, strong forelegs and claws, and an innate sense of direction. The joey instinctively climb into the mother's pouch, where it attaches to one of the two teats. The Joey begins to emerge six months.
At eight months old Joeys are classified as "young back" as they are too big for the pouch and will be about to ride on their mother's back instead of. After 12 months the joeys are completely weaned and independent.

All kinds of joeys
Koala and kangaroo babies aren't the only joeys. All baby marsupials are called joeys - such as wombat joeys, possum joeys, and Tasmanian devil joeys.

Koala bachelor

Who is growling?
Koalas communicate by making a deep growl or grunt sound called "down". This sound is used by males to attract females and intimidate other males in the area. Women will also be down when they are in season to let all men know about their whereabouts.

When they down?
Koalas are noisiest during the breeding season, which is around September to March and they bottom mostly at night. Bellows can be heard up to 800 meters away. The koalas here at Lone Pine are the most talkative and active at feeding times.

Lure is a bluff
Recent research on the Lone Pine Koala has discovered that they are able to make themselves sound bigger than they actually are. Individuals who elongate their vocal tracts by lowering the larynx can gain advantages in sex competition sounding larger. Basically, they're bragging about how big they are in order to attract females.

A koala diet
A diet of the leaves
Koalas have a very special diet of eucalyptus leaves. There are over 800 types of eucalyptus, but koalas only eat around 50 different types. They have strong individual preferences for certain types of eucalyptus.

Lunchtime for koalas
Lone Pine has four eucalyptus plantations around Brisbane. Every day two leaf cutters visit one of the plantations and cut three quarters of a ton of leaf as every single koala is going to consume half a kilogram of leaf every day.

Drunk? Lazy? I do not think so!
Eucalyptus leaves are fibrous and lower in nutrition. Koalas have adjusted to their low energy diet by sleeping and resting for 18 to 20 hours a day. It is a common misconception that if they are drunk or taken off drugs on the eucalyptus diet, they will simply save energy. Koalas have a slow metabolism to retain food in the digestive system to maximize the amount of energy that can be extracted.

Koalas are not bears
A common bear misconception
Many people refer to koalas as "koala bears" because of their resemblance to bears. Calling a koala a "bear" is scientifically incorrect. Koalas are marsupials not placentas or "eutherian" mammals like bears and humans. The name is simply "Koala".

early
Marsupials are animals that have a very short gestation period and their young are born at an early stage of development. The majority of their development takes place in the safety of a pouch.

many marsupials
Koalas aren't the only marsupials in Lone Pine. Other marsupials that can occur include; Tasmanian devil, wombats, kangaroos, wallabies, and possums. Australia is home to 140 species of marsupial.

Male koalas

What's that smell?

A male koala is easily distinguished with a brown mark on his chest. The brown mark is his scent gland, which he rubs against the base of the trees in his territory and rubbing on the trunk as he climbs. He marks his territory and attracts women.

Size matters

Male koalas are larger than the females. An adult male koala weighs between seven and 14 kilograms, while females typically weigh between five and 11 kilograms.

Did you know?

Research shows that because of the hormone testosterone, male koalas (like most mammalian males) typically have a shorter lifespan than female koalas.

Southern koalas
phascolarctos cinereus

Southern koalas are found in South Australia and Victoria (see distribution map below) and have a different appearance to northern koalas due to the cooler climates in which they live. Southern koalas are larger, fluffier, and have chocolate brown highlights on their backs.
In October 2001, Lone Pine participated in a "koala exchange program" with Perth Zoo in Western Australia and received a lovely, fluffy southern koala.

Did you know?
Despite their appearances, southern and northern koalas are the same species.