Often referred to as koala ?bears? they are not bears at all but rather marsupials.? These cuddly, gentle creatures live in Eastern Australia rarely leaving their beloved eucalyptus trees.? When not nuzzled up in the crook of a gumtree sleeping for up to 18 hours a day, these adorable creatures get their nutrition and moisture from the two and a half pounds of gum leaves eaten each day.? Younger females give birth to one offspring per year while older females only reproduce every two or three years.? After giving birth, Joeys (baby koalas) while blind and furless, measuring only 2 inches long, make the extraordinary journey to the mother?s pouch.? From the safety of its mother?s pouch a Joey drinks milk for 6-7 months until it can tolerate the delicacy of koalas? favorite food, gum leaves.
When you think of Australia you may naturally think of our iconic kangaroo.? Belonging to the Macropus family that literally means ?big foot? these nocturnal, timid creatures make their homes in Eastern Australia. Possessing very powerful hind legs and large feet kangaroos can leap 30 feet in a single bound and run more than 30 miles per hour.? If threatened kangaroos pound their feet as a warning to predators. They use their tail as a means of balance giving them the ability to station themselves while boxing with their front legs and to raise up their hind legs delivering powerful thrusts.? While most people know that baby kangaroos (Joeys) are cradled safely in their mother?s pouch many don?t know that if the mother feels in danger she will throw her joey out of the pouch to provide a chance to for it to survive.? Did you know that kangaroo mothers produce two types of milk, one for a newborn and one for the baby as it grows?? Females also have the remarkable ability to shut down their reproductive system completely in times of drought.? When the joey is about 4 months old it will leave its mother?s pouch making short outings to graze on grass and shrubs.? Around 10 months the joey is mature enough to leave its mother?s pouch to head out into the world.? Kangaroos have few natural threats other than dingos (wild dogs) and humans.