Today we are going to talk about What Do Koalas Eat? This animal's diet is mainly made from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree grown in Australia. They eat about 1 to 2 pounds of these leaves daily. This animal spends most of its time sleeping and eating. So let’s gather a little more information about the food of Koalas animals.
Koalas feed in tropical and temperate climates in the Southern Hemisphere. This animal eats only certain species of eucalyptus trees. Of the approximately 650 eucalypt tree species found in Australia, Koalas selects only 35. They are also known to consume more Koalas. The leaves of the eucalyptus tree are toxic to many animals but can be detoxified by this type of animal's unique digestive system.
The leaves of the eucalyptus tree are high in fiber. Nutrients and calorie content are low in this leaf. And these leaves provide some energy to the food of this animal and so they are dull. Koalas sleep up to 20 hours every day so that Koalas can store their energy. Some scientists also believe that the long and special digestion process of this animal gets a little too much energy from their food, except for a nutritious poor diet.
How Does This Animal Hunt?
This animal feeds strictly on plant food and Koalas are not seen preying on other creatures.
How Often Do Koalas Eat?
Koalas feed in a range of 6 to 10 bouts for an average of 20 minutes but that food can last 5 to 18 minutes. Adult Koalas eat as much as possible to reach the daily list of this animal eating the leaves of 200-500 grams of eucalyptus. Koalas cannot eat more than three pounds of leaves per day. Koalas determine how often their food depends on the weather. These animals do not eat during times of heavy rains. Koalas do this to insulate themselves from the cold and save energy.
Specialized Diet And Digestive System
They have a specially accepted type of digestive system to process the unique food of this animal. The special microbes found in the digestive tract of this animal also help to break down the toxic chemicals in the diet of Koalas. The powerful jaws of koalas help turn the seemingly-tough fibrous leaves into a beautiful paste of the mouth.
The leaves of the eucalyptus tree are incredibly fibrous and so these animals spend most of their days chewing. And that's why we can always see Koalas chewing on the tops of trees all day long. The teeth of this animal are found in their unique diet as well as in their digestive system.
When Do Koalas Eat?
This animal is a nocturnal feeder and that is why Koalas come out to eat at night and then go back to Koalas' normal sleep pattern.
Where Do Koalas Fit in the Animal Food Chain?
Koalas prey on a wide range of carnivorous species such as large owls, eagles and pythons that make them perfectly palatable. Koalas in general are important in maintaining the health of the ecosystem and the environment of Australia in particular.
This animal's watering habit has long surprised scientists because Koalas do not drink only water in the wild. In fact the word "koala" was supposed to mean "no drink" in the Australian tribal language. Koalas are found drinking water only when Koalas are sick and under intense heat stress.
Scientists have recently discovered that licking the trunks of eucalyptus trees during the rains also draws water to these animals. The phenomenon known as "stem flow" gives this animal access to much needed hydration. Stem flows were collected from the trunks of eucalyptus trees to Koalas during the study of this animal in the Australian wild from 2006 to 2019.