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Scientists Discover That Koalas Lick Trees When Thirsty And It Is Too Cute

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During the past 13-year between 2006 to 2019, 46 observations were done mostly at You Yangs regional park in Victoria to observed the drinking behavior of koalas across a range of different weather conditions.

The word Koala is thought to mean “no drink” in the Australian Aboriginal languages.

Scientist discovered that koalas hydrate by licking tree trunks, instead of merely consuming eucalyptus leaves. The behavior is known as “stemflow,” which refers to the Koalas licking the water that runs down tree trunks. The study was led by Dr. Mella, who says the importance of distinguishing between healthy and unusual behaviors is crucial to understanding the needs of animals and for their conservation.

Koalas are not bears. They are Marsupials, which means that their young are born immature and develop in the safety of a pouch. 

The conservation of Koalas is considered vulnerable, especially after the devastating fires that hit Australia. Reports estimated that between 350 -1000 koalas have died in devastated fire zones of northern New South Wales. 

Although Koalas are not functionally, extinct means that a species no longer play a role in the ecosystem and does not has enough individual members to produce future generations. Koalas are just a step above being classified as endangered.  

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Koalas are nocturnal animals and eat between 500 – 800g of eucalyptus leaves per night. There is a common misconception that koalas become high from the eucalyptus leaves and become lethargic.

The truth, however, is that eucalyptus leaf is low in nutrients and that the marsupials need to sleep for 20 hours to save up enough energy to digest the leaves. It’s thought that Koalas never drink free water in the wild and only occasionally when attributed to disease, stress, or severe heat.

Koalas spend 98 percent of their lives in the Eucalyptus trees; they only come to the floor for mating or to find a tree with a more generous food supply. 

The Eucalyptus tree is not only home to the Koalas; its where they eat, drink and mate. 

Never pour water down a koalathroat as it could lead to aspiration (water in the lungs), which could be fatal.

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