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Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Koala "Bear"



I recently had the opportunity to visit the Dallas Zoo.  It was my first visit to Dallas and my first visit to the Dallas Zoo.  It was a wonderful zoo!  Since spring arrived in the south so early this year, all of the vegetation was lush and in bloom.  I have never been to a zoo that had koala "bears", so I made a beeline straight for their enclosure.

I was not disappointed.  The koalas were magnificent!



The koalas are such amazing animals, so I thought I would look up the stats and statistics for them:

  • Koalas are often called bears, but this is not correct.  Koalas are marsupials.
  • Koalas weigh between 9 and 20 pounds.
  • Koala fur is thick and soft and pleasant to touch.
  • Koalas can live up to 17 years.
  • Koalas spend up to 75% of each day sleeping.  They become active at sunset.
  • Koalas survive solely on a diet of eucalyptus leaves.
  • Koalas seldon drink water.  The eucalyptus leaves are about 50% water.
  • Koalas have a very slow metabolism due to their nutrient poor diet.
  • Koalas breed once a year.  The gestation period is only 35 days.
  • The baby is born hairless and blind, is less than one inch long and weighs less than one ounce.
  • Unaided, the baby must crawl to its mother's pouch, relying only on its sense of smell to do so.
  • Once inside the pouch, the baby will remain for 6 months, drinking milk from the mother.

This was my first encounter with the koala.  I watched them for quite some time, and left very satisfied with the experience!

4 comments:

Melanie - From the Pond said...

They certainly are beautiful! I am so glad you liked them :) They are an endangered species here in Australia, as they are very sensitive to habitat distruction - however I have been fortunate to see quite a few "in the wild". They truly are very special :)

Amy (aka Science Stuff) said...

Oh, Melanie! How very fortunate for you that you have had the opportunity to see the koala in the wild! I am most envious! Habitat destruction is forcing so many wonderful species to the brink of extinction. I wonder if man will ever learn! My husband and I have already decided that Australia will be the first place we visit when we retire!

Melanie - From the Pond said...

Excuse my shocking spelling! Combination of using iPad and "baby brain"!! You will love Australia, why not do a teaching exchange instead of waiting for retirement ;)

Amy (aka Science Stuff) said...

Too many "things" are holding me here right now.....elderly parents, one kid in college, one kid in high school, and a husband that would never leave his job. And I hope to retire in 2 years!!!