Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Koala Mania!


Q: What eats eucalyptus, is handy and economical? A: Koala 12-pack!

Scientists at the University of Queensland have produced 12 test-tube koalas. They are part of an artificial insemination programme to help preserve the species. The programme will lead to the first koala sperm bank, letting researchers screen out koala diseases. The koala is vulnerable to extinction in parts of Queensland and New South Wales.

The programme is a joint project with the Zoological Society of London, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Dreamworld, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, and David Fleay's Wildlife Park. Australia has many private zoos in addition to Steve Irwin's. Perhaps this research can be applied to other threatened marsupials, like the Tasmanian Devil. Visit your local zoo today!

Speaking of endangered species, the Hubble Space Telescope will be repaired in a mission scheduled for '008. The success of the last 3 missions inspecting their spacecraft was a deciding factor. If anything goes wrong, a second shuttle will be available for rescue. Of course there will be risk, but risk is how things get done. Since the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey, we have dreamed about astronauts performing repairs and rescues in Space.

I also took the photo below. Koalas have long known that GM=tc^3, but have not told humans because we are not intelligent enough. Koalas have a range of sounds to communicate over long distances. They don't need to work and sleep 18 hours per day. Which species is smarter?

7 Comments:

Blogger Kea said...

Cute! Please tell us soon that NASA are onto this new cosmology business.

1:07 PM  
Blogger nige said...

Are they edible? I'm just wondering if they are going extinct from too many barbeques...

1:34 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Fortunately, Koalas have few natural predators. Sometimes a dingo can get one, though the most common causes of Koala deaths are motorcars and dogs. In the early 20th century Koalas were hunted for their coats, a practice that fortunately is now illegal.

The biggest threat is destruction of habitats, for Koalas are picky eaters. There are over 600 varieties of Eucalyptus, of which Koalas prefer about 3 dozen. Koala gourmets are much smarter than we are in distinguishing the different varieties. Supporting a Koala population requires a large amount of Eucalyptus forest.

8:03 PM  
Blogger nige said...

Hi Louise,

Do you know why the little bears love eating Eucalyptus leaves?

The leaves apparently contain the oil of eucalyptus.

"Eucalyptus is best known as a decongestant inhalation for colds and catarrh. ... A spray containing 2% essential oil of Eucalyptus is found to kill 70% of staphylococci in the air." - http://holisticonline.com/Aromatherapy/aroma_ess-oil-eucalyptus.htm

Maybe they eat it so that the vapour gets through their throat and respiratory system and makes breathing easier through their funny little noses?

Best,
nc

9:15 AM  
Blogger Rae Ann said...

I don't know which species is smarter, but the koalas win in cuteness!

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am doing an assignment on koalas and I am having trouble finding the digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems of the koala if it is possible could you put it on the page. please if not that is ok thank you

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

koalas are so ad. i could just x&o them lol ily koalas

6:57 PM  

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