Koala On The Gold Coast – Animal emblem of Queensland.
I have lived in the bush for years and never spotted a Koala. However since moving to the Gold Coast we have had several visit our garden.
Alerted to their presence by a very loud guttural call at night, inspection in the morning disclosed a large Koala sleeping in a gum tree.
Koalas sleep for about 18 hours a day and are mostly only active at night. They feed on selected eucalypt trees, therefore if these trees are not present you will not see a Koala in the bush.
The Koala has very large claws for climbing and will use them aggressively towards humans if disturbed. The Koala is one of the few mammals that has fingerprints. Their fingerprints are so similar to human fingerprints that distinguishing between the two can be quite difficult – even with an electron microscope.
The male Koala, like many marsupials, has a bifurcated penis [forked penis]. The female has two lateral vaginae, a feature unique to the Koala, and it has two separate uteri which is common to all marsupials.
The brain in the ancestors of the modern Koala once filled the whole cranial cavity, but has become drastically reduced in the present species, a degeneration scientists suspect is an adaptation to a diet low in energy. One of the smallest in marsupials with no more than 0.2% of its body weight,about 40% of the cranial cavity is filled with cerebrospinal fluid, while the brain’s two cerebral hemispheres are like “a pair of shriveled walnut halves on top of the brain stem, in contact neither with each other nor the bones of the skull. It is the only animal on Earth with such a strangely reduced brain.
A Baby Koala is called a “Joey” [the same as a baby Kangaroo].
Koalas are erroneously referred to as “Koala Bears”. Most probably because their cute appearance reminds people of teddy bears.
The Koala is however in no way related to the bear genome.
The Koala is an arboreal marsupial herbivore native to Australia and the only extant representative of the Phascolarctidae family. The closest relatives to the Koala are the Wombats, which comprise of the Vombatidae family.
There are no Koalas in Western Australia or Tasmania.
Koalas were hunted almost to extinction in Australia for their fur.
Their conservation status: Australia does not consider the Koala to be a threatened species.
US government has declared the Koala a threatened species.
In Queensland – Common, or “Least Concern Wildlife” throughout the state, except in the South East Queensland Bioregion, where it is listed as Vulnerable.