The Koala

Essay by Nick RenzlerMiddle School, 6th gradeB+, November 1996

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The Koala


The koala is the Australian jewel. It has very furry, ash colored

hair, a rubbery black nose, sharp claws, fuzzy ears, and a grizzly

personality, or should I say, koalality. If you kill a koala, you'll make a

million off their fur! They would sell the fur to coat companies and make coats out of koala fur. Well, sadly enough, too many people are making

millions on koalas. That's why they're endangered species.


The koala is distributed along the eastern coastal semi-tropical

forests of Australia, ranging from north Queensland, New South Wales,

Victoria, and a small area in the south of Australia.


The male koala and the female koala have two very different

mating calls. When humans reach their sexual maturity at around the age of 14 or 15, koalas reach their sexual maturity at the age of two. The female produces one baby every other year.

The koala almost never produces twins. In the female's pouch, there are two nipples. The female koala gives birth after a 20-35 day gestation period. When the joey (baby koala) is born, it is no longer than 2 cm and weighs no more than a 1/2 gram. The joey stays in its mother's pouch for 5-7 months. The term "joey" is used when you are talking about a baby marsupial. The mother gives "pap" to the joey, a liquid from the caecum (which is similar to the human organ, appendix.) This is thought to give the joey the ability to eat only eucalyptus leaves. When the joey emerges from the pouch, it clings to its mother for another seven months. The joey stays with its mother for another three or four years, until it is fully grown.


Koalas eat eucalyptus and don't drink water. I guess that's...