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Mammal. Koalas are not bears! They are marsupials who carry their young in pouches. The mother koala can close the pouch with a muscle that acts like a drawstring. Eucalyptus leaves are poisonous to most animals, but koalas have a special digestion system that breaks down fibers and cleans out the poison. They communicate with deep, resonant bellows, snores, and grunts. Babies and mothers murmur, hum, click, and squeak to each other. Males mark territory with scent from their chests. Koalas do not have sweat glands. To keep cool they stretch out in shady trees and lick their arms.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Phascolarctos cinereus Average is 13-18 years
Herbivore. Very picky eaters, koalas specialize in certain eucalyptus leaves, eating 200 to 500 grams (.5 to 1 pound) daily.
Predators and Threats
Humans (with their cars and dogs) are their principal threat. Owls or eagles occasionally take young koalas.
Only found naturally in Australia, koalas live in a range of habitats including forests, low inland woodlands, and coastal islands - wherever they can find their favorite eucalyptus trees.