What Does a Koala Eat?

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Koalas are known as herbivores, which are animals that feed primarily on plants and plant leaves. Koalas feed primarily on the leaves of the eucalyptus tree.

Koalas are very particular eaters and only consume a select few leaves, especially those from eucalyptus trees. Periodically, these animals will consume leaves of other trees, including the waffle tree and the tea tree. Their normal diet consists of the consumption of the leaves and shoots of the eucalyptus tree as well as shoots grown from the ground. Blossoms are also a regular part of their diet. On occasion, koalas will consume the bark from the limbs of the eucalyptus tree, although this is not a regular part of their diet.

Koalas consume approximately 1 to 1.5 pounds of leaves per day. They get much of their supplements and water needed from the gum leaves of the eucalyptus tree. These leaves have low protein levels and have a phenolic compound embedded in them that is deadly to most animals. Koalas, unlike other mammals, posses a unique micro organism, located in their gut, which allows them to process and digest these leaves. Koalas possess a very slow metabolic rate, allowing them to eat then stay stationary for 16-18 hours in a day.