koalaaaas.docx - Part 1 Koala Adaptations Though often called the koala as a \u201cbear\u201d because of its teddy bear-like appearance this cuddly animal is

koalaaaas.docx - Part 1 Koala Adaptations Though often...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 3 pages.

Part 1: Koala Adaptations Though often called the koala as a “bear” because of its teddy bear-like appearance, this cuddly animal is not a bear at all; it is a marsupial mammal. Therefore, it wouldn't be wrong to consider Koalas belonging to the mammal family of the Kangaroos, Wallabies, Tree Kangaroos and Opossum etc. Koalas (phascolarctos cinereus ), are an arboreal (tree dwelling), herbivorous marsupial (not completely developed mammal when it is born and is carried around in a pouch), and are an iconic species of charismatic megafauna, of substantial social and conservation significance that occur in the plentiful eucalypt forests of eastern Australia . After giving birth, a female koala carries her baby in her pouch for about six months. When the infant koala emerges, it rides on its mother's back or clings to her belly, accompanying her everywhere until it is about a year old. Unlike other arboreal marsupials such as tree kangaroos, Koalas do not have an external tail. However, vestiges of a tail are still present in the skeletal structure Koalas, indicating that at some time in its evolutionary history an external tail was present. Despite the fact that Koalas have no tail, they have an excellent sense of balance. With lean, muscular body, and comparatively long, strong limbs, Koalas can support their weight when climbing. The front and hind limbs are nearly equal in length and much of the Koalas’ climbing strength comes from the thigh muscle, which joins the shin much lower than in many other mammals. When koalas are on the ground, they walk slowly as they are poorly adapted to walking on the ground, however when disturbed koalas can break into a bounding gallop, moving at speeds of up to 30km per hour. Koalas’ paws are specially adapted for gripping and climbing. Its rough pads on the palms and soles help koalas to grip tree trunks and branches, and both front and hind paws have long sharp claws. Each paw has five digits. On the hind paw the
Image of page 1
Image of page 2

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture