Nothing else looks like a koala. The dense woolly fur which is grey above and lighter white to cream below, small eyes and a large head supporting those substantial ears makes koalas easy to identify.
Koalas are powerful animals built perfectly for their home in the trees. Their hands and feet are designed for grasping and granular pads on the soles and palms help with gripping even the smoothest of trees. A koala hand has 3 fingers separate from the other 2, similar to their feet which have the first toe opposed and a set of grooming claws. Their extensive array of muscles and thick bones combine to form an animal built for strength and agility in the trees.
Koalas weigh a hefty 14 kilograms but are great climbers, fast runners and good swimmers - although they can appear clumsy out of their treetop habitat.
They are an evolutionary triumph, being able to exist on a diet of toxic eucalypt leaves, which could kill other animals. Over 15 million years, koalas have evolved to handle the toxic chemical content of eucalyptus in the Australian forests. This leaf-eating machine has a great set of incisor teeth for stripping leaves, powerful jaw muscles and grinding teeth, plus extra-large cheek pouches to store food. A koala's appendix is over 2m in length and this organ is the reason for their digestive prowess as it is able to cope with the cellulose component of leafy green matter.
The koala has solved the nutrient deficient and heavy toxin problems of its diet by being a little lazy, sleeping a great deal of the day. Koalas do drink water but can survive for long periods without it.