- Common Name: Koala and Koala Bear
- Species: Phascolarctos cinereus
- Genus: Phascolarctos
- Diet: Vegetation (herbivore)
- Lifespan: Between 13 and 18 years
- Length: Between 24 and 33 inches
- Weight: Between 9 and 33 pounds
18 Koala Facts for Kids
- The koala is a marsupial that is a member of the Phascolarctos genus.
- A koala is sometimes called a koala bear. However, it’s not a bear, it’s a marsupial.
- The binomial name for a koala is Phascolarctos cinereus.
- There are three recognized subspecies of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus).
- The three koala subspecies are the Queensland koala (P. c. adustus), New South Wales koala (P. c. cinereus) and the Victorian koala (P. c. victor).
- Koalas are native to Australia and can be found inhabiting Australia’s eastern and southern regions.
- Koalas are herbivores and most of their diet is made up of eucalypt leaves.
- The leaves of the eucalyptus tree are tough and poisonous. However, koalas can safely eat the leaves due to their cecum, which is a long digestive organ that safely breaks down the leaves.
- Koalas can eat over a pound of eucalypt leaves each day.
- The average lifespan of a koala is between 13 and 18 years.
- A koala can weigh between 9 and 33 pounds.
- A koala can have a body length between 24 and 33 inches.
- Male koalas are usually 50% bigger than female koalas.
- Koalas are nocturnal animals, they sleep during the daytime and come out to forage in the nighttime.
- A koala can spend up to 20 hours a day sleeping.
- A male koala is called a buck, a female is called a doe and a baby is called a joey.
- A baby koala will spend about six months inside its mother’s pouch after birth. After they emerge from their mother’s pouch, they spend another six months riding on their mother’s back or abdomen.
- The name koala is from the Australian Aboriginal language. It means “no drink” and they got this name because it was believed at the time, they didn’t need to drink water.
A picture of a mother and baby koala (Phascolarctus cinereus).
Credit: VisionAiry Photography
A picture of a koala (Phascolarctus cinereus adustus).
Credit: San Francisco Zoo and Gardens
A picture of a koala (Phascolarctus cinereus victor).
Credit: Klaus Rudloff
Additional Resources about the Koala
- Koala – WWF – Find more facts about the koala on the WWF website.
- Koala – Britannica – Read more koala facts on the Britannica website.
- Koala – Wikipedia – Learn more about the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) on the Wikipedia website.