Explanation contained in the dietary habits of this amazing animal. Koalas are extremely picky about food: they feed exclusively on the leaves of eucalyptus trees (in the language of environmentalists this is called narrow trophic specialization). The digestive tract koalas are arranged in such a way that it cannot digest other foods. Therefore, even a hungry Koala is not looking for a replacement eucalyptus leaves. In the day the Koala eats about 0.5-1.1 kg of eucalyptus leaves. Of the 800 species of eucalyptus the Koala prefer only 120, and choose only the young leaves.
Ancestors Koala appeared in Australia about 30 million years ago. A significant portion of the continent was then covered with eucalyptus forests, and marsupial bear occupied the ecological niche of consumers this specific food. In the leaves of eucalyptus is very low nutritional value, as they have little protein. But they are very fibrous, and, in addition, they have a lot of poisonous substances, phenols and terpenes. By the autumn the leaves appear hydrocyanic acid is the strongest poison, causing instant death!
But koalas spend days chew this poison and other foods do not recognize! Due to its resistance to poisons eucalyptus leaves, they do not feel the pressure of food competition. Besides them, the eucalyptus leaf can only eat it far marsupial relatives collahuasi possum and marsupial species.
How do they manage not to poison poisons contained in eucalyptus?
First, koalas prefer these types of eucalyptus trees, which contain less of phenolic compounds - remember, we said above that the Koala is not any eucalyptus will summer residents like as a dining room?
Secondly, the predilection for young leaves with good reason: they have less poison.
Thirdly, koalas choose trees that grow in the fertile soil along the river banks. In them, the concentration of poison is lower than that of eucalyptus trees growing on the barren lands.
Fourth, the Koala is a powerful liver, which neutralizes the toxins entering the bloodstream from the intestinal tract.
Features power explains the extreme slowness and "lazy" these exotic bears. Due to the fact that the leaves of eucalyptus nutrient-poor, the Koala has a very low metabolic rate is 2 times less than in other mammals. Koala thoroughly chew your lunch and accumulates the resulting slurry in a special cheek pouches. From koalas long cecum - 2.4 m (for comparison: in humans, the length of the caecum - 3-8 cm)! This is because it is in the process of digestion. In the intestine koalas are a lot of bacteria that digest the cellulose into digestible to the animal connection.
Koalas sleep for 18-22 hours a day, sitting on a branch or in a fork of branches. They feed on; at night, climbing the trees in search of food. Even if the Koala is not sleeping, he usually sits perfectly still for hours, clasping a branch or trunk of a tree with his front paws.
Incidentally, the Koala in the language of the tribes of New South Wales means " no drink". Koalas don't really drink water. The necessary liquid they get from food, and from the dew on the leaves, which are eaten. The water they drink only in extreme cases - during the illness or severe drought.
In conclusion, we return to the question of the content of koalas in captivity, in the headline.
In sum, if you are able to ensure a regular supply of not less than 1 kg per day of fresh leaves of eucalyptus specific type, you can try to hold a Koala at home! Keep in mind that in Russia the eucalyptus grow only in the area of Sochi and the appearance of these eucalyptus trees koalas are not suitable.
In the last century the question of the content of koalas in captivity has become extremely important because of the threat of extinction marsupial bears after they started hunting because of their wonderful thick fur. Now these cute animals are protected, and they created a special national parks and reserves. The main difficulty of the content of the Koala in protected areas is a necessity in a large number of eucalyptus trees of certain species. In some national parks specifically planted for this eucalyptus forests, and koalas living in the wild, they are observing. If it is running out of food, they are transported to other places, where many eucalyptus trees of the desired species.
Koalas perfectly domesticated. However, to take them up carefully, as they have very sharp claws. In captivity Koala very attached to those who care of them, and often behave like spoiled children: "cry"when they go and calm down, if they caress. And if they, too stick, they are protected by teeth and claws.
P.F. Sensational video! Koala eating... Apple!