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The Koala resembles a bear cub; its thick, silky fur gives it an almost cuddly appearance. But this animal is a marsupial, not a bear. Its back is gray and tawny, with white and whitish spots on its hindquarters and torso. It has a round head, hairy ears and flat nose. Its hands are perfectly adapted to life in the trees, and are also used for hygiene. They are agile enough to jump vertically and horizontally (although only males have this ability). They live in eastern Australia, where there is an abundance of eucalyptus trees.
A nocturnal animal, the Koala lives a solitary life in the trees. It can become very aggressive when faced with an intruder who wants to share its territory. It likes to sleep snugly in the fork of a branch. In cold weather, koalas roll themselves into a ball to protect themselves and maintain their body heat. They sleep during the day and feed at night. The female has a ventral pouch called a marsupium, which contains her breasts: joeys are born and complete their infant development inside it. In other marsupials, this pouch has an opening at the top, but in Koalas the opening is at the bottom. This makes it easier for the joeys to reach the eucalyptus leaves on which they feed (they love these trees!).
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