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Cat-Sized Koala Could Be Marsupials' Missing Link
There Was No Record
of Koalas Here. Until Now

There Was No Record of Koalas Here. Until Now

Cat-sized 'Lumakoala' could be marsupials' missing link in Australia's Northern Territory

(Newser) - The modern koala is a well-known and well-loved marsupial, but researchers know surprisingly little about its evolution. Indeed, they describe an "approximately 30-million-year-gap" in the fossil record of Australian marsupials, or diprotodontians, a group including kangaroos, wallabies, and wombats. That gap may be closing, however. Researchers say they've...

Mystery Plant Thief Turned Out to Be a Koala

Claude was nabbed after he ate so much he couldn't move

(Newser) - At the nursery he owns in Australia, Humphrey Herington grows plants to restore koala habitats, but he was still surprised when the animal that had been chowing down on his seedlings turned out to be a koala, a species not known for intrepid behavior. Herington tells the BBC that when...

On Endangered Koalas, Scientists Hit on 'Way to Bring Them Back'

Freezing koala sperm would require fewer koalas in captivity, improve genetic diversity: report

(Newser) - Two months after Australia declared koalas as endangered across much of the country's east coast, researchers are hoping to stock up on frozen koala sperm. Scientists at the University of Newcastle in the southeastern state of New South Wales have proposed the creation of a lab to store that...

Koalas Now Endangered After 'Shockingly Fast Decline'

Conservationists say they could end up extinct if habitat loss continues

(Newser) - One of Australia's most iconic animals is now an endangered species in much of its range. The country's federal government has declared the koala endangered in New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory after a steep decline in numbers. The marsupial was declared vulnerable in those...

Charges Filed After an Alleged 'Koala Massacre'

21 animals were found dead in February 2020, more were euthanized

(Newser) - An Australian landowner and an earthmoving business face 126 animal cruelty charges apiece in connection with a February 2020 incident that one conservation group dubbed a "koala massacre." CNN reports the individual and company are accused of causing "unreasonable pain or suffering to dozens of koalas,"...

Koalas Are Getting Vaccinated for Chlamydia

This could lead to a human vaccine as well

(Newser) - Koala numbers are plunging in the wild, and at least part of the problem is a chlamydia epidemic among the marsupials. As a result, wildlife authorities in Australia have begun an unusual clinical trial—they're inoculating about 200 koalas with a new vaccine designed to ward off the disease,...

The Koala Population Is Plunging, Group Says

Australian foundation finds 30% drop in 3 years

(Newser) - "Most animals decline towards extinction," an ecology professor in Australia said, "they don't go for a single reason." That fits the koala's predicament; a host of factors have combined to shrink its population. Most of the koalas' natural habitats in Australia have been cleared...

Behind the Wheel Amid 6-Car Pileup: This Guy
Behind the Wheel Amid 
6-Car Pileup: This Guy
in case you missed it

Behind the Wheel Amid 6-Car Pileup: This Guy

Wild koala had quite a day on Monday

(Newser) - A koala marched onto a busy freeway in Australia on Monday, prompting a six-car pileup, before deciding he, too, should get behind the wheel. Photos of the koala gripping a vehicle's steering wheel have now gone viral. They were taken by Nadia Tugwell, who was caught in traffic behind...

Look Who Turned Up in Australian Christmas Tree

An apparently confused koala

(Newser) - On one side of the world, an adorable owl emerged from the Rockefeller Christmas tree. On the other side, a cute, curious koala emerged from a fake tree to startle an Australian family. Amanda McCormick was in shock after finding the koala in the living room of her home in...

500M Animals Feared Dead in Australia Fires

'Our concern is that ... they're not there anymore, basically'

(Newser) - Those devastated to learn of the likely deaths of thousands of koalas in Australia's wildfires should take a deep breath. Ecologists from the University of Sydney now estimate some 480 million animals have been killed since September, per News.com.au . The outlet notes the figure is "likely...

Australia Fears Loss of Thousands of Koalas in Fires

As much as 30% of the marsupial's habitat has been destroyed

(Newser) - Thousands of koalas are feared to have died in a wildfire-ravaged area north of Sydney, further diminishing Australia's iconic marsupial, while soaring temperatures have increased the fire danger Saturday in the country’s east. The mid-northern coast of New South Wales was home to up to 28,000 koalas,...

Koala Who Touched World's Heart Has Died

Lewis, rescued from Aussie bushfire, had burns that were just too much to overcome

(Newser) - As wildfires ravage significant sections of Australia, a small moment of hope emerged last week after a woman saved a koala from a tree in bushland that had gone ablaze. The video of Toni Doherty's rescue went viral , and the story made headlines around the world. Now, per the...

Russell Crowe Names Koala Chlamydia Clinic for John Oliver

Actor found him 'something special' after Oliver spent big at divorce auction

(Newser) - John Oliver publicly and gleefully spent like a drunken sailor at Russell Crowe's very successful divorce auction —to the tune of almost $80,000 on items that included a used leather jock strap—but Crowe just dropped the mic on the late-night host, reports the Guardian . After musing...

SUV Picks Up Odd Hitchhiker
SUV Picks Up Odd Hitchhiker

SUV Picks Up Odd Hitchhiker

Australian koala goes for a ride in the wheel well of vehicle

(Newser) - For a stowaway who made a 10-mile journey squeezed in the wheel well, a koala was lucky to escape with just scratches. The driver of the four-wheel vehicle was unaware of the extra passenger until they arrived at their destination in the outskirts of Adelaide, Australia, and he heard some...

Cops Find Baby Koala in Woman's Backpack

Alfred will now get a proper home

(Newser) - A woman was arrested "on outstanding matters" during a traffic stop in Brisbane on Sunday with a rather cute companion. Asked if she had anything to declare, the 50-year-old woman handed officers a canvas backpack, claiming a baby koala was inside, reports the BBC . "Not quite believing their...

Officials Think LA Mountain Lion Entered Zoo, Killed Koala

'The evidence is circumstantial'

(Newser) - Officials believe P-22, a wild mountain lion that prowls a sprawling Los Angeles park, made a meal of a koala found mauled to death at the city's zoo, the AP reports. Zoo director John Lewis said this week that workers found the koala's body outside its pen March...

Why Australia Is Killing Koalas

Animals were euthanized after 'falling out of the trees'

(Newser) - Koalas' numbers on one part of Australia are too big for their own good, and some are starving—so officials have quietly been culling their population, Australia's ABC News reports. "We have had koalas suffer in that Cape Otway area because of ill health and starvation" amid overpopulation,...

Woman Learns Koalas Have 'Big Teeth' the Hard Way

Mary Anne Forster needed 12 stitches after attack but doesn't blame the animal

(Newser) - It wasn't the koala's fault, says an Australian woman who was savaged by one of the planet's cutest and most cuddly-appearing creatures. According to 7News Adelaide , Mary Anne Forster was walking her two dogs a couple of weeks ago when they dragged her toward a koala at...

Firefighter Gives CPR—to Koala

Sir Chompsalot looks like he'll make it

(Newser) - It was a rough night for Sir Chompsalot: The koala was hit by a car, fled up a tree, then fell 30 feet into a blanket. Fortunately, a team of firefighters on the scene in Australia knew what to do. They "actually performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the koala,"...

Scientists Discover Why Koalas Hug Trees

It helps them stay cool amid Australia's heat

(Newser) - Using thermal cameras, researchers in Australia uncovered the science behind a habit that seems, well, cute: Koala bears hug trees to cool themselves. It turns out that tree trunks can be up to 12 degrees cooler than the air, and with Australia's recent hot spells rising well above 100...

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