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How Much Eucalyptus Does a Koala Eat?

Koalas are a marsupial species found only in Australia and they live almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves. This relatively limited diet can cause koalas to smell like cough drops.

Since they cannot obtain much energy from these leaves, koalas tend to live a very sedentary life, and will sleep for up to 20 hours per day. Koalas spend most of their time aloft, grazing on leaves, or sleeping in tree forks.

Koalas have an extremely efficient digestive system in order to process the poisons in eucalyptus leaves and extract as many nutrients as possible. Koalas don't need to drink water very often, as they get most of the moisture they need from their diet.

More about koalas:

  • Koalas were hunted extensively for their pelts in the early 20th century. Millions of koalas were killed and populations in several areas, such as South Australia, were entirely wiped out.

  • A newborn koala is only around one inch long and will spend seven to eight months without leaving its mother's pouch.

  • Koalas cool themselves down in hot weather by hugging tree trunks and branches, and may travel to non-food trees specifically to do this.

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