Wombat vs. Koala

Wombat vs. Koala

Wombat and koala are closely related types of marsupials that are native to Australia. Koala can be found in the eucalyptus forests in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and southern parts of Australia. Three remaining species of wombat inhabit dry mountains and partially forested areas of South-East Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. Koala is member of koala family, while wombat belongs to the wombat family. Aside from that, koala and wombat differ in:

Size

Koala can reach 24 to 33 inches in length and 9 to 33 pounds of weight. Wombat can reach 39 inches in length and 44 to 77 pounds of weight.

Morphology

Koala has large head with big, spoon-shaped nose and large, fluffy ears. It has stout body and muscular limbs equipped with sharp claws which facilitate climbing on the trees. Wombat has big head, short neck and wide nose. It has strong jaws with rodent-like incisors that grow constantly throughout the life. Wombat has short, stubby legs equipped with strong claws that are used for digging.

Color

Koala is covered with dense, light grey or brown fur. Ears, chin, belly and front limbs and covered with long white hairs. Wombat has short, coarse fur that can be grey, sandy-colored, brown or black, depending on the species.

Lifestyle

Koala spends its life on the trees (arboreal creature). Males have scent glands on the chest which secrete brown substance used for marking of territory. Koala is active during the night. It sleeps 18 to 20 hours per day to conserve energy. Wombat is ground-dwelling animal. It spends most of the time in the underground burrows and tunnels. Wombat is active at dusk and dawn.

Diet

Koala is specialized for diet based on eucalyptus leaves. Out of 600 available species of eucalyptus, koala consumes leaves of only 30 species. Wombat has much diverse diet. It consumes different types of grass, sedges, mosses, bark, roots and mushrooms.

Reproduction

Pregnancy in koala lasts 33 to 35 days, and only 20 to 21 days in wombat. It ends with single, poorly developed baby in both cases. Baby crawls toward the mother's pouch immediately after birth. It completes embryonic development attached to a teat inside the mother's pouch and stays there until the age of 6 to 7 months, when it finally becomes ready to investigate outside world. Koala depends on the mother's milk until the age of 12 months, and wombat a bit longer - until the age of 15 months.

Lifespan

Female koala can survive 12 to 18 years both in the wild and in the captivity, while male koala can survive only 10 years due to frequent fights. Wombat can survive 5 years in the wild and up to 26 years in the captivity.

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