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Males and Females

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It can be very difficult to tell if a koala, up in a tree is male or female.  If you can get a good view of its head, you can tell. A male koala (above left) has a  larger and broader head with a large "roman nose". A female koala (above right) has a more pointed chin and rounded profile, her ears are also smaller.  

 

alt                                                                            Female

Female koalas are smaller than males and look fluffier. They also have a pouch to carry their young joeys until they are ready to ride on their mothers back. A baby koala is the size of a jelly bean when born and will stay in the pouch until it has a full coat of fur and is starting to nibble on leaves.

 

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                                                                    Male

Male koalas  have a sternal gland on their chest. This gland becomes more visible when they are of breeding age at approx. 3 years old.

Every male koala has a sternal gland (scent gland) on its chest. This gland produces an oily secretion with a distinctive smell that stains the surrounding fur. At the beginning of the breeding season he will advertise his presence by "scent marking" trees, by rubbing his chest against them.

 

alt      Koalas have a suprising range of vocalizations.

 

Males are more vocal during breeding season, typically September to March. They will make harsh open mouthed grunts - a long series of deep snoring inhalations and a belching exhalation. Dominant males use their "bellow" to warn other koalas they are in the area.

The female bellow is softer and less frequent. They often make a higher pitch scream.

Koala joeys will squeel when they are distressed or looking for mum, as they become older it becomes a sqwark.