A Koala's Diet
A diet of leaves
Koalas have a very specific diet of eucalyptus leaves. There are over 800 species of eucalypts but koalas will only eat about 50 different varieties. They have strong individual preferences for certain types of eucalypts.
Lunch time for koalas
Lone Pine has four eucalypt plantations around Brisbane. Each day two leaf cutters visit one of the plantations and cut three quarters of a tonne of leaf as each individual koala will consume up to half a kilogram of leaf every day.
Drunk? Lazy? I think not!
Eucalyptus leaves are fibrous and low in nutrition. Koalas have adapted to their low energy diet by sleeping and resting for 18 to 20 hours a day. It is a popular misconception they are drunk or drugged from the eucalyptus diet, they are simply conserving energy. Koalas have a slow metabolic rate to retain food in their digestive system to maximise the amount of energy that can be extracted.