Koalas are often referred to as “koala bears” but koalas are not actually bears at all; indeed they are marsupials. Found in eastern and southern Australia early English-speaking settlers called them koala bears because of their similar appearance to bears. While it is technically okay to use the term koala bear, many encourage correcting this error and simply calling it a koala instead.
These marsupials are covered in thick hair. They like to live in the forest because they love to hang out in trees. Koalas are great climbers with sharp claws allowing them to grasp branches securing themselves in their climb.
Did you know koalas have two thumbs on each hand? The do! Their first two fingers on each hand are positioned opposite the next three fingers. They are also one of the few mammals that have a print with five fingers.
Koalas range from about 11 pounds in weight to upwards of 31 pounds and are herbivores, eating a diet of vegetation. They love eucalyptus. Strangely, over time the koala brain has become smaller and smaller. Scientists speculate that this is due to their lazy lifestyle and diet.
Another interesting thing about koalas, is that like many other marsupials, male koalas have a bifurcated penis; meaning there are two distinct columns and two heads. Females koalas also have two separate uteri. Interesting!