Episode 112 – Koala: The Pickiest Herbivore

“And today we’re talking about a cuddly looking lazy old bear that’s not a bear at all. But more on that later…”

Hoigh app in the eucalyptus trays of Ustreya, the koala beeah suffahs from a caise of mistaken oidentity. It’s not really even a beeah, it’s a mahsupial loike the kaingaroo. And it has has en unusual doiet that requires both a laizy disposition and a unique doigestive system to wek. But win yah faivrit food is en essintial oil, you do whaht it taikes to survoive heeah in Loife, Dith, and Taxonomee.


  • Koalas are pretty well known so you probably can picture one.
  • They’re stocky grey and white and adorable unless they are wet.
  • Males are 50% larger than females.
    • Other sexually dimorphic traits include, a curved nose and hairless patches in males.
  • They have a cute little vestigial tail, round furry ears, and thick fur on their backs.
  • They have claws that are great for climbing. They also have two opposable digits, which is like having two thumbs.
  • They have long forelimbs which also help them in their climbing pursuits. 

Measure Up

Welcome to the beloved Measure Up segment. The official listener’s favorite part of the show! The part of the show when we present the animal’s size and dimension in relatable terms through a quiz that’s fun for the whole family. It’s also the part of the show that’s introduced by you when you send in audio of yourself saying, singing, or chittering the words measure up into ldtaxonomy at gmail dot com. We have a new measure up intro this week from one of our good friends Calvin, who you heard at the top of the episode with his sister Julia!


  • 60–85 cm (24–33 in)
  • 33 inches
  • How many koalas go into the height of Wallaman Falls, Australia’s tallest waterfall?
  • Hint: The falls are in Queensland in the Girringun National Park. It’s considered a horsetail waterfall. It’s considered both a cascade and a horsetail fall. A cascade is when a waterfall falls in a series of steps and a horsetail is when the water maintains contact with bedrock as it falls.
  • 319 Koalas. Wallaman Falls are 268 metres (879 ft)


  • 4–15 kg (9–33 lb)
  • 33 lbs
  • How many Lotte Koala’s March share packs go into the weight of one real koala, according to the shipping weight on Amazon?
  • Hint: Koala’s March supports the Australian Koala Foundation that works to decrease the threats to the survival of Koalas. The Koala’s March share pack contains 10 packs.
  • 44 Koala’s March share packs. The share pack is 12 ounces.

Fast Facts

Like other marsupials, koalas have little pouches where their babies continue to develop after they’re born.

  • This is because marsupials lack a placenta, which protects babies from their mother’s immune system in other animals.
  • Marsupial babies are born before they are sufficiently developed, so they climb into the pouch as soon as possible.
  • Their limbs develop to be strong enough before they can even see. 
  • Then they climb up to the pouch where the latch onto a nipple, which forms a seal.
  • After that, they continue to develop until they can start to leave the pouch. 

Like other marsupials, koalas have reproductive organs that are unique among mammals.

  • The male organ bifurcated, which means it separates into two columns.
  • It’s also separated from the urinary tract, which means it’s only used for reproduction and not waste.
  • The bifurcated male organ corresponds to the females two uteri. She also has two canals that open up in one orifice. 
  • In other words, koalas are a lot like plugs and electrical sockets with two prongs and two holes.

Koala brains are proportionately small, and are one of the smallest in reference to body weight.

  • Their brains are only 19.2 g (0.04 pounds).
  • They’re also smooth, which indicates that they don’t spend much time in more complex thinking.
  • Their little brains are surrounded by lots of fluid, which is thought to protect them from concussions when they fall out of trees.

Koalas also have extremely thick fur on their backs.

  • This may help protect them from wind and rain, while up in trees.

Lastly, Julia and Calvin mimicked the Koala sound earlier, lets see how close they were