The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).
No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Koala, cute and cuddly.
Please click to enbiggen the photos
This photo shows why people think they are a cute marsupial, please note those long curved claws before you rush to pick one up though, not that they are aggressive but they are used to hanging onto tree trunks/limbs and will instinctively also hang onto you.
Being marsupials means that the female has a pouch where the young is nurtured after its birth, as a jelly bean sized embryo the baby crawls up the fur of its mother to reach the pouch where it will spend up to 6 months before emerging as a fully developed joey.
Koala's live on a diet of gum leaves (eucalyptus) which are hard to digest and fairly low in nutrition, (these same leaves are poisonous to most other animals if eaten in any quantity) the Koala has adapted to this by sleeping for up to18 hours a day to conserve energy and give its digestive system time to work.
They grow to an average of 20 pounds and are quite lean and muscular, excellent climbers with very good balance while in the trees they are less at home on the ground and limit their time there to moving from tree to tree.
They live for about 12 years and move about very little, only as dictated by their food supply, they are quite territorial, even within the family groups but do "share" certain trees which serve as their social centres.
For the first few months of his life the joey hitches a ride on his mothers back, I didn't have a suitable photo of mother and joey on file so had to use one from the net which sadly didn't take kindly to my efforts to enlarge it so its quite a small image, Koala's live in colonies of between 10 and 20 animals and are quite a social animal.
During the time we lived in Toowoomba I operated a "school bus" this bus run covered about 30 Kms quite a bit of which was through "bush" country, there was a colony of Koala's that lived in this area and when they were in suitable locations for a good viewing I would stop the bus so that we could see them properly.... Look-out we are having one of Mr Holts "nature study" stops would start to chorus around the bus.... "Shut-up and look at the Koala's you little heathens" I would reply.....
On one occasion when our friend Warren came to visit us, knowing the Koala's were close to the road and in a patch of quite small trees, (they were often in very large trees and 50 to 60 feet from the ground) we went for a drive to look at and photograph them, that's when my old mate took this unflattering shot of me as I climbed to a better vantage point for a photo.
As I've said before... "what are friends for?"