Did you know koalas sleep 18 to 22 hours every day? Seriously, that's more than a human teenager sleeps. I know, because I used to be one... a teenager, not a koala.
Why do koalas sleep so much? Because they are always working really hard. On the outside, it may not look like they're working hard (in fact, they seem kind of lazy), but they are definitely working hard on the inside.
Here's why. Koalas are fond of living in eucalyptus trees and eating eucalyptus leaves. In fact, that's pretty much all they ever eat. They eat more than a pound of eucalyptus leaves per day. The problem is, eucalyptus leaves are toxic, and they have a huge amount of fiber and very few calories and nutrients. So, a koala's body has to work really hard to break down the toxins and extract nutrients from the leaves. This, of course, can be done while they sleep. And because it takes so much energy to digest their food, they might as well be sleeping to keep from using up what little energy they are gaining from digestion.
Oh... one more thing. I mentioned above that koalas only eat eucalyptus leaves, but that's not completely true. When they are really young (and called joeys), they eat their mother's poop. This is after they stop feeding on milk and before they start eating leaves on their own. Technically, though, because the mother only eats eucalyptus leaves, I guess the mother's poop is eucalyptus leaves too.
- Sleeping koala - DepositPhotos
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