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Natural Selection

How has natural selection shaped koala bears?

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November 25, 2008 10:54PM

natural secetion has shaped the koala through its distinct features. features such as their hands and feet. they are designed to assist their tree dwelling life, their hands have a large gap between the first and second finger and their big toe is set at a wide angle to the foot. This gives the Koala secondary grip on branches. Koalas sit in the folk of trees all day using their thick padded toes. This adaptation is more behavioral. koalas also have a distinct organ The Koala's digestive system is especially adapted to detoxify the poisonous chemicals in the leaves of the eucalypt. To cope with such a diet , nature has equipped koalas with specialised adaptations. Koalas have a very slow metabolic rate, this allows the koala to retain food within their digestive system for a long period of time. This slow metabolic rate minimises the Koalas energy requirements. The koala has a special fiber-digesting organ called a caecum. Other animals such as humans also have a caecum but the Koala is very long about 200cm long. The caecum contains millions of bacteria which breaks down fiber into substances which are easier to absorb. Water is also absorbed from the gum leaves so that koalas rarely need to drink.