No. Bears are placental mammals. Koalas are marsupials, like kangaroos and wombats. Unlike placental mammals, marsupials are mammals that give birth to very underdeveloped young that then complete their development outside the mother's body - often in a pouch.
Koalas live for 12 to 16 years in the wild (Phillip Island Nature Park 1998).
Adult koalas weigh between four and 14 kilograms depending on their sex and where they are from. Males are up to 50 per cent heavier than females. Koalas from Victoria normally weigh eight to 12 kilograms, while those from Queensland weigh between five and seven kilograms (Phillips 1990).
Koalas have few natural predators. In the past, the major cause of death appears to have been dingoes. Young koalas may occasionally be taken by powerful owls or wedge-tailed eagles (Phillip Island Nature Park 1998).
Koalas don't protect a territory of their own. However, each koala does have an area of regularly used food trees called a home range. Home ranges vary in size depending on the nature of the habitat, but are usually less than three hectares in size (Phillips 1990). On Phillip Island, the home range usually consists of about 20 regularly used food trees (Phillip Island Nature Park 1998).
No. The koala's thick fur acts as a great insulator. In cold weather, a koala huddles in a ball with its back to the wind. On hot days, it stretches out along a branch. It may also seek shade on the ground or in non-eucalypt trees with dense foliage (Phillip Island Nature Park 1998).
Koalas spend approximately 20 hours asleep or resting, one to three hours feeding, and one to three hours grooming, moving from tree to tree, and during the breeding season, searching for a mate. Koalas spend much or their time resting in order to conserve energy to compensate for their low energy diet (Phillip Island Nature Park 1998).
Koalas are found throughout the mainland of eastern Australia (see map) (Phillip Island Nature Park 1998). Island populations, such as those on French Island, Phillip Island, and Kangaroo Island, have been introduced since the European settlement of Australia.
Koalas were not originally found on Phillip Island. They are thought to have been introduced in the 1870s or 1880s from a nearby mainland population at Bass (Phillip Island Nature Park 1998).
Phillips, B. (1990). Koalas: The little Australians we'd all hate to lose. Australian Government Printing Service: Canberra.
Phillip Island Nature Park. (1998). Nature Notes: Everything you ever wanted to know about koalas. Phillip Island Nature Park: Cowes, Vic.
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