Koalas are marsupials native to coastal regions of Australia. Marsupials are mammals, just like dogs, cats, and human beings. These mammals are called placental mammals. Unlike placental mammals, marsupials give birth to tiny, underdeveloped young. Female marsupials have a pouch on their bellies, which they can zip and unzip by using a special muscle. Baby marsupials stay protected in their mother's pouch instead of inside her body. Other marsupials include kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, and opossums.

Like all marsupial babies, baby koalas are called joeys. A koala joey is the size of a jellybean! It has no hair, no ears, and is blind. Joeys crawl into their mother's pouch immediately after birth, and stay there for about six months. That's about how long it takes for them to see, grow ears and hair, and walk (or waddle) on their own.

When they're about six months old, joeys venture out into the world, although they stay pretty close to their mother—usually by riding on her back, like this one.

  1. Where can you find koalas in the wild?

  2. Koalas are marsupials. What other animals are marsupials?

  3. What are baby koalas called?

  4. How long do baby koalas stay with their mothers?

blind
Adjective

unable to see.

Noun

edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.

immediately
Adverb

at once or quickly.

koala
Noun

medium-sized animal (marsupial) that lives almost entirely in eucalyptus trees, native to Australia.

mammal
Noun

animal with hair that gives birth to live offspring. Female mammals produce milk to feed their offspring.

marsupial
Noun

mammal that carries its young in a pouch on the mother's body.

muscle
Noun

tissue found in animals that expands and contracts, allowing movement.

placental mammal
Noun

animal (mammal) characterized by the fetus developing inside the body of the mother, in an organ called the placenta.