Q:

How do koalas adapt to their environment?

A:

Quick Answer

A koala adapts to its environment with opposable thumbs, a great sense of smell, a dense coat and a unique digestive system. A koala has two opposable thumbs on its front paws and one on each of its back paws so that it can easily grip branches.

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Full Answer

The koala adapts to its environment with a great sense of smell. It uses its nose to sniff out the best leaves for eating. The koala only feeds on a few of the 600 species of eucalyptus tree leaves, which means that its nose is essential to finding these particular species.

Another critical adaptation for the koala is its digestive system. The koala eats only eucalyptus leaves, which are poisonous. In order to digest the toxins in the leaves and the high-fiber content, the koala digestive tract contains special bacteria that break down the toxins. When baby koalas are getting ready to leave the pouch, the mother produces pap, which contains fecal matter with these unique bacteria. The baby feeds on the pap in order to introduce the bacteria into its digestive tract so that it can start eating eucalyptus leaves.

Another adaptation of the koala is its dense fur coat. This fur acts as a cushion for its bottom while it sits in trees. It also keeps it warm in cold weather.

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