What's a baby koala's name + 4 more amazing facts and pictures!
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Baby koalas are one of Australia's funniest creatures. Born the size of a green pea, these amazing marsupials live miraculous lives. Did you know that koala cubs survive by eating their mother's poop?
Read on to learn five amazing facts about cute baby koalas!
#1: The little koala is called Joey!
Chances are, you probably already know wallabies as joeys. But did you know that baby koalas are also called joeys? This is real! The two animals aren't the only ones to have babies with the same name, either. Baby wallabies, opossums and wombats are some other examples.
What's even more amazing is that these animals with the same name are all relatives! They belong to an elite group of animals known as marsupials, which are known for carrying their young in pouches on their bodies.
#2: Koala Joyce Eating Poop!
You might be surprised to learn that koalas are very picky eaters. In fact, a koala's diet consists almost entirely of eucalyptus leaves. They will occasionally eat other leaves, but prefer this one by far. The only problem with their eucalyptus-rich diet is that the koala joeys can't digest it.
Newborn koala cubs cannot eat eucalyptus leaves directly, and breast milk can only last for a few months. So how do they eat it? The answer might sound weird, but they eat mommy's poop! This poop, called pap, is a substance that is expelled from the mother koala's anus and eaten by her young. The aim is to provide koala pups with pre-digested eucalyptus protein to nourish their bodies.
Pap is so important to the health of koala pups that it is often delivered in the mail! Wildlife Rescue, which cares for the baby koalas, said any koala mother could provide formula to other babies. paps contain essential plant proteins and microbes that allow baby koalas to digest their food. This is pap nature's probiotics!
#3: Baby koalas are very small
Perhaps the most interesting thing about marsupials is their reproductive process. When a baby koala is born, it emerges from its mother's womb and is placed in her pouch. However, the tiny marsupial is not ready to see the world for the first time in about six months. That's because, at birth, they're very small — about the size of a gummy bear.
Koala mothers have a very short gestation period of only 33-35 days. That's ridiculously short compared to the roughly 280-day human gestation period. However, the koala's fleshy pouch allows babies to be born at the embryonic stage. Then, they finish growing in this bag.
Despite being blind from birth, kangaroos instinctively seek out safety and climb into their mother's pouch.
Koala cubs drink milk from a pacifier inside their mother's pouch. During this time, they grow slowly until they are about six to seven months old. At this age, they will poke their heads out of the pouch for the first time. It is also at this time that they start eating gummies, which allows them to grow at a faster rate.
Ultimately, they will venture out on their own to explore. A baby koala stays with its mother for at least six months after birth. Usually, baby koalas ride on their mother's back.
#4: Koalas are born in tall trees
Koalas are herbivores and make their homes in treetops. This helps protect them from predators and makes eucalyptus leaves more readily available. Giving birth under a tree puts not only a mother koala at risk, but her baby as well.
Did you know that koalas sleep most of the day? Scientists say these amazing marsupials can sleep up to 18 hours. This means that living in trees helps them stay away from predators when their defenses are down.
Given these facts, it's no surprise that koalas give birth in trees. However, you might be wondering how these little marsupial babies don't fall below and die. The answer is simple: they are born in a snug, warm pouch.
#5: Baby koalas spend most of their time alone
Although mother and baby koalas are inseparable at birth, they won't be that way forever. Baby koala cubs have little defense and are dependent on their mother for survival. However, once they are able to venture out into the world on their own, they are solitary animals. Seeing a herd of koalas is so rare that scientists don't even have an official name for it!
Most shockingly, the baby koalas spent the most time with their mothers ever with another koala – ever! Even more amazing, koala cubs are ready to fend for themselves when they are about a year old. From then on, they will live a lonely, peaceful and quiet life that they like!
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the baby koala's name?
The little koala is called Joey. They share this name with many other baby marsupials, including opossums, kangaroos, and wallabies.
How much does a baby koala weigh?
Koala babies are very small at birth. When they first emerge in mom's pouch, they are about the size of a green pea. By the time they can start eating eucalyptus leaves, they will gain weight and will eventually weigh 20 to 30 pounds when fully grown.
What do baby koalas eat?
From newborn to about six months old, Joy the koala feeds on the teat in her mother's pouch. Once they're out, their little bellies can't digest their main food source, eucalyptus leaves, so they eat a substance from their mother's bum called pap. As adults, they can consume over two pounds of eucalyptus leaves per day as their teeth adapt to the high consumption of eucalyptus leaves.
Where do baby koalas live?
Baby koalas live in tall trees in Australia.
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