What Adaptations Does a Koala Exhibit?
Koalas exhibit adaptations such as sharp claws, roughly skinned feet and opposable thumbs. The koala also has thick fur to cushion his bottom to allow him to sit on branches for long periods of time. His thick fur also helps him to regulate his body temperature.
Koala paws are well-adapted to the trees in which the koala spends most of his time. For instance, he has rough skin on the bottom of his paws that give him traction when climbing trees. The sharp claws enable him to easily grip branches. Furthermore, the koala has opposable fingers, two on each front paw and one on the back paws. This allows him to better grip branches.
Another adaptation of the koala is his digestive system. The koala lives entirely on a diet of eucalyptus leaves, which are highly toxic. However, the koala's digestive system is well-adapted to this food source, making him capable of safely digesting it without symptoms. Because a diet of eucalyptus leaves is low in nutrients and high in fiber, koalas sleep for the majority of their day to preserve energy. Another benefit of this complete eucalyptus diet is that few animals can eat it, which means that there is little competition.