I’d love to hold a koala. They sleep 22 hours a day, eat eucalyptus leaves and just hang out. I want to spend some time with that guy.
Learn About Koalas from the Travel Rangers
It’s fascinating to learn about koalas. The Travel Rangers (Kayden, Bella, James, and Hannah) learned so many interesting facts about Australia during their last mission, especially about koalas. Bella, the Travel Ranger who loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian one day, wanted to write a blog about koalas. Bella loves their fluffy ears and couldn’t wait to get her picture with the koalas when they traveled to the zoo. Since the Travel Rangers didn’t have enough room to fit everything they learned about koalas in their book, Bella wanted to share some more interesting facts the Rangers learned during their mission to Australia:
- Koalas aren’t bears, they’re marsupials – A marsupial is a mammal that is not born completely developed and develops further in their mom’s pouch. This was one of the first things Erika Bud, the author of this book, learned when she moved to Australia. Don’t ever let an Aussie catch you saying koala bear! Kayden said this when they arrived at the zoo and was quickly corrected by Georgie.
- Koalas survive on a diet of eucalyptus leaves – They can eat about 2 pounds a day. To give you an idea, humans generally eat between 3-4 pounds a day.
- Koalas are picky eaters – They eat less than 50 of over 700 eucalypt species. James asked why they are picky eaters; it’s not because they want to be picky. Their stomachs just can’t handle all of the species.
- Eucalyptus is poisonous to most animals and humans – So how are koalas able to eat these poisonous leaves? This part grossed the Travel Rangers out. The babies eat their mother’s feces….bet you didn’t see that one coming. Once koalas ingest these feces, termed “pap,” their bodies will acquire natural defenses to remove the toxins emanating from the eucalyptus oils.
- Koalas prefer the leaves at the top of the trees – It’s not just a great view from the top of the trees. Koalas often choose leaves at the top of the tallest trees because they are fresh and contain more liquid and nutrients.
- Koalas have few natural predators – While eating leaves at the top of a tree is safer for a koala since it protects them from dingo attacks, small koalas do become vulnerable to eagles.
- Koalas can sleep up to 22 hours a day – While Hannah thought this was funny since she thought of many people who would like to sleep this much each day, she realized this was out of necessity and not a choice. Since the eucalyptus leaves are so low in nutrients, koalas need more sleep than most animals which basically helps them conserve energy.
- Koalas can live 13 – 18 years in the wild
- What are the biggest threats to koalas…you’ll never guess (note: this is a fact for the adults)– While wildfires and deforestation are threatening the koala population, the current biggest killer is chlamydia. Yes, you read that right, the sexually transmitted disease. For koalas, chlamydia can cause blindness and painful cysts in their reproductive tract that may lead to infertility or even death.
Bella hopes you enjoyed learning about koalas as much as she and the rest of the Travel Rangers did!
A special note from the author, Erika Bud: Australia is such a magnificent country. My son and I had an amazing time. I hope you will consider traveling with your family to Australia and enjoying some of the same memorable experiences that we did! – Thanks for reading! Erika
To hear more about family travel abroad experiences, international travel tips, and more, listen to the Planes, Trains, & Kids Abroad travel podcast at: https://bigworldpub.com/listen-to-travel-podcast/
Written by: Erika Bud. You can find out more about the Travel Rangers author and series at: http://bigworldpub.com/
Note from the author: The Travel Rangers are fictional characters from the book, “Travel Rangers: Mission to Australia”. The facts used for this blog were compiled from the below websites: