Prehistoric Koalas

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Scientists believe, through their study of skull fragments of prehistoric koalas, that those koalas shared the lazy lifestyle and loud bellowing of modern koalas but did not eat eucalyptus. The research shows how their facial features changed over the millions of years to accommodate the tougher diet. Prehistoric koalas from the Miocene period (24 to 5 million years ago) are believed to have shared the lazy lifestyle and bellowing with modern koalas but they did not eat eucalyptus. Researchers have studied skull fragments from prehistoric koalas and found that there are similarities in the skull but their jaws, teeth, and palates are very different. The only problem is since scientists have only been able to study a few teeth and jaw fragments, they haven’t been able to determine their diet and evolution.…show more content…
Eucalyptus is a notoriously poor and somewhat toxic food. Over the course of millions of years, koalas developed special anatomical and physiological adaptations. The tougher diet of eucalyptus leaves caused the facial region of modern koalas to change a lot from that of their prehistoric relatives. Another thing prehistoric and modern koalas share is the ability to make loud bellows. This is based on the similarities of the middle and inner ear. Modern koalas are very vocal animals. They can produce low frequency sounds as they pass through vegetation and can be heard up to 800 meters away. Since the prehistoric koalas share the same large bony ear makeup, scientists believe they would have been able to detect noises in the rain forest as

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