Australia’s contributions to the animal kingdom are the Kangaroo and the Koala. Let me interject here for a brief moment to point out that although you have heard the koala referred to as a “koala bear” it in fact is not a bear. It is a marsupial. Both kangaroos and koalas are marsupials.
What is a marsupial you ask?
A marsupial is a mammal of the order Marsupialia, whose young are very undeveloped when born and continue developing outside their mother’s body attached to one of her nipples. Most marsupials have longer hind legs than forelimbs, and the females usually have pouches in which they carry their young.
Yep! I just looked that up. It’s called research.
Besides the fact that both of these animals are endemic to Australia (“research”) and are marsupials. The are also herbivores and can go months without drinking water.
But, that is where the similarities end. While the kangaroos diet is very diverse, koalas eat eucalyptus leaves exclusively.
Kangaroos can jump over 45 feet high but can’t climb. Koalas can climb in trees over 45 feet in the air, but can’t jump. Ok, I made up that 45 foot tree part, but they can climb trees. How else do you think they get to the eucalyptus leaves?
While kangaroos are very gentle social animals who live in groups called mobs, koalas have very little interaction with other koalas. They are socially akward and have low self esteem. Ok, not really. They probably just enjoy being by them selves and they may be alone, but they aren’t lonely. There is a big difference. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.
Perhaps it has more to do with the fact that koalas spend 20 hours of each day sleeping and resting. They only reason they wake up is to eat.
But, kangaroos can’t walk backwards, so they both have issues to deal with.
What marsupial do I most identify with?
Well, I tend to be lazy and I seem to never have any energy. I like to eat, but I need diversity in my meals. And, I am pretty social. Although, I can definitely walk backwards. Not gracefully, but I can do it, I will admit to the koala in me. But, I strive to be the kangaroo.
Which marsupial are you?