Animal Diaries Archive
Koala's Are Smarter Than People Think
4 March 2005When people come to the Zoo to visit the koalas, they are sometimes disappointed that they are always asleep. Koalas are one of the most chilled out characters in the animal world, with a lifestyle similar to that of a sloth: eating and sleeping. Koalas sleep up to twenty hours each day, but the four on average that they spend awake mostly occur around dusk and dawn.
This makes them a semi diurnal or crepuscular animal, a common trait of Australian natives, and one of the ways they have adapted to living in a harsh climate like Australia. Because it gets so hot here in Australia during the middle part of the day, not many of our native critters want to be awake, as they would be wasting a lot of energy just trying to keep cool. It makes a lot more sense for natives to be awake and active during the cooler hours of the day, and koalas will usually have their largest feeding period just after dark.
Here at the Zoo though, because they have become accustomed to our routine, you may find the koalas wake up between the hours of about 3:30pm and 5pm. This is when the fresh eucalyptus leaves arrive and everyone wants to get their share of the nicest part of the branch, before everyone else eats it all. So if you are coming into the Zoo to see the koalas, try to time it so that you can be around at this time of day, and you might get to see the koalas a bit more active.
Our Amazing Koalas
Koalas vary in size and colour depending on where they live in Australia. Koalas found in the southern distributions (Southern NSW and Victoria) tend to be ...more