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The Koala Bear

             The creature I have chosen is the koala bear. It is an Australian mammal that looks like a teddy bear, but it is not related to any kind of bear. Koalas have soft, thick fur; a large, hairless nose; round ears; and no tail. Their fur is gray or brown on their back and white on their belly. Koalas are from 25 to 30 inches in length and weigh 15 to 30 pounds.
             Koalas are a marsupial, which means the mother gives birth to a tiny, poorly developed offspring. The offspring, called a joey, is then carried in a pouch on its mother's belly, where it develops more completely. Most marsupials, like the kangaroo, have a pouch that opens toward the front of its body. The koala has a pouch that opens toward the rear of its body. The joey stays in the pouch for about seven months. Then, it spends the next six months riding on its mother's back. .
             The koala's sharp, curved claws; long toes; and a strong grip really help them because they spend nearly all their time in trees and come down only to move to another one. Koalas are active mainly at night. They sleep most of the day in the fork of a eucalyptus tree. Their diet consists mainly of the leaves and young shoots of eucalyptus trees. Koalas that live in the wild rarely drink water. They get liquids mostly from eucalyptus leaves. The word koala actually comes from an Australian Aborigine word meaning no drink.

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