The Koala The Sleepyhead
We always remember the greyish furred koalas wrapping their arms and legs around the trunks of eucalyptus trees. This sight of koalas is indeed very lovely. Meanwhile, you may wonder why we call a koala "the sleepyhead". Let's remind ourselves right away that koalas sleep 18 hours a day!
The fore and hind paws of koalas enable them to spend a great part of their lives on eucalyptus trees. This is the way Allah created their paws!
Koalas can quickly climb trees with their long curled arms, and sharp claws and paws that hold tightly on to the trees. The two fingers of their fore-paws are separated from the other three. If we compare a human hand to theirs, then we must talk about two thumbs. These thumbs, which greatly differ from other fingers, help them to cling to small branches. Like a hook, koalas thrust their claws into trees and thus hold on to the soft and smooth surfaces of tree trunks. With their four paws, they can readily clutch tree branches, just like we clutch a stick, and climb trees after they wrap their paws around their branches. These are what makes a koala's life on trees easy!
Although koalas are known to be lazy, they can move very quickly on trees. They can even jump from one branch to another, covering a distance of a metre (39 inches) in a leap. Female koalas give birth to a single baby in two years and, like kangaroos, they carry it in their pouch. During the first months, the baby koala remains in its mother's pouch. After this period, the baby hitches a piggyback ride for a year. The mother picks a favourite tree in the eucalyptus forest for its home because she eats eucalyptus leaves – and that's about all she eats! That is why you can only find koalas in Australia, where eucalyptus trees are legion.
Although there are more than 600 species of eucalyptus tree in Australia, koalas only eat certain leaves from 35 of them. Koalas can't live just anywhere because, apart from being a store of leaves, the eucalyptus trees constitute a unique shelter for them.
There are many kinds of koala species. Each species feed on a different kind of eucalyptus leaf. If you are planning to move a koala away, you need also to take the eucalyptus leaves on which he feeds with you. Apart from their diets, koalas rarely climb down eucalyptus trees because they are hardly able to move around on the ground. The eucalyptus tree's leaves constitute different chemical substances. These substances are poisonous and dangerous for all animals except for koalas. Before swallowing, koalas grind these leaves with their teeth. The harmful elements in the leaves are filtered in the koala's liver and expelled from the body. By the will of Allah, this food, which is extremely poisonous for other animals, does not harm koalas. Therefore, koalas can eat about a kilogram (2.204 pounds) of poisonous leaves everyday without trouble. Koalas even get their water from these leaves. At certain times of the year, two thirds of the eucalyptus leaf consists of water. Therefore, only feeding on eucalyptus leaves, a koala can survive for months without drinking water. The tops of eucalyptus trees are vulnerable to wind. For this reason, koalas have very thick fur.
This harmony between a poisonous plant and an animal shows us that koalas and eucalyptus tree have been created by the same Creator. This Creator, Who creates everything perfectly, is surely Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.