Koala - the only extant representative of family Phascolarctidae

Baku, April 23, AZERTAC

The koala is an ash-colored, thickset, arboreal, herbivorous marsupial averaging about 9 kg in weight.

A rather stout, virtually tailless creature, with a cream-colored chest, the koala is native to Australia, and the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae.

Heavily relying on a societal environment, koalas search for areas with eucalyptus trees dense enough to feed a full group of koalas. Therefore, even controlled deforestation can present a problem to the koalas, as they rely not only on sufficient nourishment, but on a supportive community. The koalas of South Australia were largely exterminated during the early part of the twentieth century, but the state has since been repopulated with Victorian stock.

In popular Western culture, the koala is usually either depicted as cuddly and innocent, or as a curmudgeonly character never terribly impressed by the things he sees around him. In reality, koalas can be dangerous to humans.

The koala is found all along the eastern coast of Australia, from near Adelaide to the southern part of Cape York Peninsula, and as far into the hinterland as there is enough rainfall to support suitable forests. However, the koala reaches into neither Tasmania nor Western Australia.

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