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What do koalas eat?

What do koalas eatKoalas spend about three of their five active hours eating. Feeding occurs at any time of day, but usually at night. Koalas eat an average of 500 g (18 oz) of eucalypt leaves each day, chewing them with powerful jaws to a very fine paste before swallowing. The liver deactivates the toxic components ready for excretion, and the hind gut (especially the cecum) is greatly enlarged to extract the maximum amount of nutrient from the poor quality diet. Much of this is done through bacterial fermentation: while young are being weaned, the mother passes these essential digestive aids on to her offspring.

The koala will eat the leaves of a wide range of eucalypts, and occasionally even some non-eucalypt species such as Acacia, Leptospermum, and Melaleuca. It has firm preferences for particular varieties of eucalypt and these preferences vary from one region to another: in the south Manna Gum, Blue Gum, and Swamp Gum are favoured; Grey Gum and Tallowwood are important in the north, and the ubiquitous River Red Gum of the isolated seasonal swamps and watercourses that meander across the dry inland plains allows the koala to live in surprisingly arid areas. Many factors determine which of the 680 species of eucalypt trees the koala eats. Among trees of their favourite species, however, the major factor that determines which individual trees the koala chooses is the concentration of a group of phenolic toxins called formylated phloroglucinol compounds
 

koala description:

The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia, and the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae.
The koala is found in coastal regions of eastern and southern Australia, from Adelaide to the southern part of Cape York Peninsula. Populations also extend for considerable distances inland in regions with enough moisture to support suitable woodlands. The koalas of South Australia were largely exterminated during the early part of the 20th century, but the state has since been repopulated with Victorian stock. The koala is not found in Tasmania or Western Australia.

 

What do koalas eat

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