Koala

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Koala

KoalaOriginal.jpg

Character Data
Also known as: Koala Bear
Japanese Name: コアラ
Romanised Name: Koara
First Featured in: Kemono Friends (2015 Game)
Animal Data
Scientific Name: Phascolarctos cinereus
Distribution: Australia
Diet: Herbivore
Average Lifespan in the Wild: 13 – 18 years
Read More: Koala
Conservation Status: Status iucn3.1 VU.svg.png
Koala Manga Festival Nexon Game Stage Play

Koala is a Friend who has made appearances in both the Kemono Friends manga and the original mobile game.

Appearance

Koala has light, blue-grey hair, tied in short-fluffy twin tails, with a single dark-gray dot in the center. She has large round ears with white fur and dark brown eyes. She has a white fur collar and wears a light-grey tank top with a dark grey skirt. Over the tank top, she wears a white apron with a grey bow and front pocket. She has long grey gloves and wears grey stockings and white fur boots.

In Real Life

Koala is a charming marsupial with thick-set body, small eyes and large ears. The wool-like coat of the animal is thick but soft, colored with ash-grey. The densely packed fur on the bottom serves as a cushion, allowing koalas to sit upon rough tree branches. The under parts as well as the tips of hairs on their ears are white. In the center of their chest, adult male koalas have the identifying brown colored "scent gland". One of the key characteristics of this animal is a very strong sense of smell, which helps them distinguish between poisonous and eatable leaves. They have large sharp claws on their long limbs, which help them in climbing trees, as well as 5 digits, including opposable thumbs, allowing them to grip tree branches and food.

The ideal habitat of Koala is eucalyptus forests, humid woodlands and riparian areas. The species is distributed across eastern and southeastern Australia, including northeastern, central and southeastern Queensland, eastern New South Wales, Victoria as well as southeastern parts of South Australia.

Koalas are asocial animals, congregating only during the breeding season. They usually form large, loosely organized groups in areas with abundant suitable trees, with a single individual per tree. During the rest of the year, koalas tend to live solitarily, showing very little social behavior. They are arboreal animals, dwelling in trees. Koalas are exceptionally good climbers. Meanwhile, when on the ground, they are very slow walkers. During the daytime hours, these nocturnal animals usually sleep in the fork of eucalyptus trees. Normally, koalas are quiet animals. However, when threatened or alarmed, they typically give out a call, reminding cry of a human baby, and accompanying it by shaking. In addition, during the breeding season, males of this species begin to emit bellowing calls. Koalas also scent-mark their trees, which is a form of communication. They are herbivorous animals, feeding primarily upon leaves of eucalyptus tree. Meanwhile, they consume leaves of 30 various species of eucalyptus tree. In addition, they supplement their usual diet with melaleuca, foliage from leptospermum and acacias.

These animals have polygynous mating system with the dominant male, mating with most of females. Koalas mate from December to March. Gestation period in koalas lasts for only 35 days, yielding a single baby. During the first 5 - 6 months of its life, the joey lives in the pouch of its mother, feeding exclusively on milk. By the age of 6 months, the young is weaned. The young then starts feeding upon pap - partially digested vegetation, found in excrement of its mother. At 7 months old, the baby comes out of the pouch of its mother, beginning to cling to her back. Then, at about 1 year old, young koala becomes independent, after which the youngster typically stays with its mother for another few months before it leaves. Male koalas reach sexual maturity by 3 - 4 years old while females are mature at 2 - 3 years old.

The primary threat to koala population in Australia is destruction, fragmentation and alteration of their natural range, due to which the animals are often hunted by dogs as well as collided with vehicles. Other notable threats include diseases and bushfires. The animals are also exposed to drought, which leads to considerable number of mortality in certain populations of koala.

The koala has curved spines, an adaptation for sitting on tree branches, individual fingerprints like humans, and unlike most mammals that have 13 pairs of ribs, the koala has 11 pairs - the lowest in record of any living marsupial species.

Trivia

  • Not only koalas are excellent climbers, but they are also good swimmers, known to cross rivers, escaping from heavy flooding in their home range.
  • A koala consumes about 1 kilogram of leaves per day on average, which is a huge amount for the body size of the animal. They also tend to use their cheek pouches as stocks, where they store snacks of leaves.
  • These animals spend most of the day (up to 18 hours) sleeping.
  • The brain of koala is less than 0.2% out of the animal's body weight. This, combined with their nutrient-poor diet, is the reason of koalas' sedentary lifestyle.
  • Their name, "koala", comes from Aborigine language and means "no water". The animals are so called because of rarely drinking water and attaining required moisture from eucalyptus leaves. However, when the temperatures increase, koalas sometimes lose a large amount of water, becoming dehydrated.
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