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The Koala is a small marsupial (pouched mammal) that lives in Australia. Koalas are arboreal, they spend most of their time in eucalyptus (gum) trees. These nocturnal (most active at night) animals spend 18 to 20 hours each day resting and sleeping; they spend much of the night eating. They are aggressive animals who live in woodlands.

Koalas are not bears; their closest relative is the wombat. The genus and species of the koala is Phascolarctos cinereus.

Anatomy: The koala is up to 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 m) long, weighing 10-30 pounds (4.5-13.5 kg). The soft, woolly fur is light-gray to brown, and it has patches of white on the chest, neck. and ears. This fur protects them from cold weather and rain. Koalas have rough pads on their feet and hands which are used for gripping the trees they live in. The koala's brain is very small. Like other young marsupials, baby koalas (called joeys) live in their mother's backwards-facing pouch for months. The koala is one of the few animals that has fingerprints (other animals with fingerprints include many of the primates and fishers).

Diet: These herbivores (plant-eaters) eat mostly eucalyptus (gum tree), chewing these tough leaves using their powerful jaws. They store unchewed food in cheek pouches. Koalas have a keen sense of smell which they use to make sure the type of gum leaves are edible and not poisonous.

1. In what country are koalas found? _______________________

2. Koalas spend most of their time _______________________ & _______________________

3. Are koalas more active during the day or night? _______________________

4. What plant do koalas prefer to eat? _______________________

5. What is a baby koala called? _______________________

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