There’s no denying it—koalas are absolutely adorable. Looking at their sweet faces, it’s no wonder they are so popular and beloved around the world! We all know that koalas are cute and furry, but they are so much more than that. Let’s see what we can learn with our students! Are koalas actually bears? Do they really sleep all day? How do they communicate? We’ve got these answers and more in this list of incredible koala facts for kids.
Koalas are native to Australia.
They live in the eucalyptus forests of eastern Australia. Watch this heartwarming video about the beautiful bond between koalas and eucalyptus trees!
Koalas are not bears.
They look cute and cuddly, so it’s not surprising they’ve earned the “Koala bears” nickname, but they are actually marsupials like possums, kangaroos, and Tasmanian devils.
Koalas only eat eucalyptus leaves.
While the thick, fragrant leaves are poisonous to other animals and people, koalas have a long digestive organ called a cecum that’s designed for digesting eucalyptus!
Koalas are picky eaters.
Even though they can eat up to a kilogram of eucalyptus leaves in a day, they take their time to find the tastiest, most nutritious leaves from nearby trees.
Koalas don’t drink much.
The eucalyptus leaves give them most of the moisture they need. When it’s especially hot, or there’s been a drought, though, they will need water.
Koalas are nocturnal.
They sleep during the day and eat leaves at night!
Koalas are great at climbing trees.
Their sharp claws help them climb high into trees, where they like to nap on branches. Watch this amazing video of a koala jumping from tree to tree!
Koalas move very slowly.
Sadly, this puts them at risk of getting hit by cars or being attacked by dogs and dingoes. They are safest when they are high in the trees.
Koalas have a pouch.
They open at the bottom, which can help keep dirt out of the pouch!
A baby koala is called a joey.
They live in their mother’s pouch for six months. Then, they ride their mother’s back for another six months before they are ready to explore the world on their own. Watch this cute video of a joey and its mama!
A joey is the size of a jelly bean.
When a joey is born it is only 2cm long.
Baby koalas are blind and earless.
A joey must rely on its natural instincts as well as its strong sense of touch and smell to find its way.
Koalas can sleep 18 hours a day.
They don’t have much energy and love spending their time napping on branches.
Koalas can live for 20 years.
It’s their average lifespan in the wild!
The average koala weighs 20 pounds.
And they are 23.5 to 33.5 inches tall!
Koalas and humans have almost identical fingerprints.
Even under a microscope, it’s hard to distinguish between the two! Watch this video to learn more about koala fingerprints.
Koalas have two thumbs on their front paws.
Having two opposable thumbs helps them grip trees and easily move from branch to branch.
Koala fossils date back to 25 million years ago.
They’ve also found evidence of a type of koala-hunting eagle that terrorized Australia around the same time!
Koalas communicate with each other.
They grunt, screech, snore, and even scream to get their point across!
80% of koala habitat has been destroyed.
Those areas were lost due to bushfires, drought, and building homes for humans. Watch this video to learn more.
Koalas are protected.
Once hunted for their fur, koalas are now protected by government laws. Unfortunately, the loss of their natural habitat still puts them at risk.