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Times Koalas Were Anything But Cute
A koalas digestive system is nothing like other animals. Photo Credit: Biocodex Microbiota Institute

4. A Unique Digestive System

We have talked a little bit about a koala’s diet and how it is primarily eucalyptus leaves. Unlike most animals, koalas have a minimal diet and are extremely picky eaters. It might be surprising to wrap your head around how koalas can only eat one specific type of leaf. We’ve also mentioned how difficult eucalyptus leaves are. They are tough and high in fiber. To effectively consume and digest the eucalyptus leaves, koalas have their very own digestive organ. This specific organ is known as a caecum. Its primary function is to help them digest their diet of eucalyptus leaves.

Times Koalas Were Anything But Cute
Photo Credit: Biointer Active

The organ is critical to koalas and their survival. Generally speaking, eucalyptus is poisonous and cannot be consumed by the majority of animals and humans. If it is finished by someone who does not have the necessary components to digest it, it could have extremely harmful side effects. In koala, the caecum works to detoxify the offending chemicals. By doing this, the substances become delicious and nutritious for koalas. Interestingly, all of the eucalyptus they consume does cause koalas to smell slightly like cough drops. Without this specific organ, the koala would not benefit and survive off of these particular leaves.

Times Koalas Were Anything But Cute
Despite being lazy, these creatures are still fast when they want to get somewhere. Photo Credit: Pinterest

3. Just Because They Are Lazy Doesn’t Mean They Are Slow

Since koalas spend anywhere between 18 and 20 hours a day sleeping, you might assume they are lazy and slow. If they seem incredibly lazy, it’s because they generally are. When you see a koala, the majority of the time, it will be when they are up in the trees. They often appear lethargic in trees as a way to conserve their energy. Their lack of energy is due to their diet. The eucalyptus leaves are high in fiber and provide the nutrients needed for koalas, but in comparison, they are not highly nutritious. However, just because they appear sluggish, you shouldn’t count them out.

Times Koalas Were Anything But Cute
Photo Credit: Pinterest

It doesn’t help that in movies, shoes, and books, koalas are often portrayed as a tree-dwelling, lazy animal. They are not typically seen in action. Koalas are poorly adapted to walking on the ground, so they usually stay up in the trees where they are comfortable. However, when put into the right situation, koalas can break out at a fast pace. If they are frightened or feel threatened, koalas can break into a gallop, moving at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour. Koalas typically lead a slow lifestyle most of the time and rest a lot. However, when they move, they can be fast, agile, and mighty.

Times Koalas Were Anything But Cute
Those trees can be sore on the tushy! Luckily, koalas have cushy butts. Credit: EcoWatch

2. The Many Uses of Koala’s Butts

A koala is often viewed as a cute, cuddly, and adorable Australian animal. As we have learned, there are many aspects of the koala that are unique and critical to their survival. One of the koala’s body parts that has many uses is its’ butt. Now you might wonder what these many uses could be. The koalas’ posteriors play an interesting role in helping them survive and thrive, specifically while perched up in the eucalyptus trees. The fur on their bottoms are densely packed and acts as a cushion while they spend so much time sitting and resting upright in the trees.

Times Koalas Were Anything But Cute
Photo Credit: Pixy Org

In addition to the extra padding cushion from their rear end, the end of their curved spine’s cartilage provides even more padding. All of these extra padding and cushion help koalas make the eucalyptus trees the most comfortable home. I’m sure we can all agree that if we were spending 18 to 20 hours a day sleeping in one spot, we would want to be as comfortable as we possibly could be! Another benefit to their bottom half is its appearance. The koala’s butt is white and speckled, which prevents predators from easily spotting them from the ground.

Times Koalas Were Anything But Cute
They might be cute to look at, but these creatures are anything but pleasant to smell. Credit: CGTN

1. Koalas Are Super Stinky

It is no surprise that wild animals may not smell the best. For starters, they live in the wild and are susceptible to all the elements. They might have to be outside during the rain, cold temperatures, and dirt. Depending on their habits and nature, they may not do the best job at cleaning themselves and therefore put off a little bit of an odor. Koalas are no exception. They have been known to have a bit of a distinctive scent, at least the males do. That doesn’t mean that females or juvenile koalas don’t smell as well, but they may have a very different smell.

Times Koalas Were Anything But Cute
Photo Credit: Cnn

Females and juvenile koalas tend to smell more like eucalyptus cough drops. That is mostly attributed to their diet of eucalyptus leaves. In comparison, male koalas have been said to put off an odor that is pungent compared to eucalyptus leaves. Mature males tend to have a more pungent smell because of their distinguished scent glands. The males will rub their chest up against trees to mark their territory and attract females at breeding time. The scent gland produces a strong, musky odor. Besides, koala joeys are taught to eat different species of trees, so they have a balanced diet and because other leaves act as a natural intellect repellent.

Where Did We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

“Interesting Facts,” by Australian Koala Foundation.
“Brutal And Terrifying Facts About Koalas, Who Are Actually Hateful And Miserable Animals,” by Justin Andress. Ranker.