Koala vs Sloth (Difference Between Koala and Sloth)

koala vs sloth

Koala vs Sloth may look similar, but these are different from each other. If you view these two animals from a distance, you cannot recognize who is a koala and sloth. But as you reach near them, you can notice the difference between them. Let us compare these two animals and see what happens if they fight with one another.

What Does a Koala Look Like?

Koalas are Australian marsupial that is not technically bear, but some often referred to as bears. This is so because of their furry and round physical appearance. Koalas are mostly nocturnal that habitats in trees. Koalas are tree-hugging marsupials with big rounded ears and black oval noses. They are an iconic symbol of Australia, the only place where they can be seen. Like other marsupials, such as kangaroo, wombats, and opossums, koalas have pouches in which they carry their newborns.

Koalas range from slate grey to reddish-brown. Their fur is coarse. They have large and sharp claws that help them in climbing. Their hands and feet are built to curl around tree branches tightly. They also have significant and fluffy ears, which enable them with functional hearing capacity.

What Does a Sloth Look Like?

Sloths are mammals that live in Central and South America. They use their long claws to hang out onto branches while they feed on a significant amount of leaves. The sloth comes in two different categories- two-toed and three-toed. Sloths may not be great climbers, but they are great swimmers.

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Koala Size:

A fully grown koala is 2 to 3 feet tall, and their weight depends on the habitat where koalas live. Northern koalas weigh around 9 to 19 pounds, and the southern koala weighs about 15 to 29 pounds. Generally, male koalas weigh 50 percent more than the females.

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Sloth Size:

As discussed above, there are two kinds of sloth: two-toed and three-toed. The three-toed sloths are about the size of a medium dog that can measure around 23 to 27 inches and weigh between 17.5 to 18.5 pounds. However, the two-toed sloths are quite more significant than the three-toed. Sloths have long claws that can reach from 3 to 4 inches. Because of their long nails, it is difficult for them to walk on the ground, so they spend most of their time in tall trees.

Koala Habitat:

Koala habitat in eastern and south-eastern Australia in the states of Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria. They prefer to live in the eucalyptus trees and woodlands. Koalas spend most of their time between the forks in the tree branches. They eat, sleep, and hang out in trees.

Koalas move around their favorite tree when they need to cool down. They find the shade spot on the tree. When they need sunlight, they move to a sunnier place.

Sloth Habitat:

According to some reports, thousands of years ago, sloths were much more giant and can grow as large as an elephant. These ancient sloths once roamed in North America and became extinct around thousands of years ago. Although their ancestors walked in North America, the modern sloth’s habitat in Central and South America. Most of the species of sloths will occupy several trees during their entire life. While some species, especially the three-toed, tend to spend their whole life on the tree in which they were born.

Koala Diet:

Koalas are herbivorous and only feed on eucalyptus; on an average, they eat 1 to 1.5 pounds of eucalyptus every day. They eat 3 hours per day, mostly in the night and rest for 16 to 18 hours. Koala sleeps so much because they need time and energy to digest the eucalyptus leaves, which is filled with fibers. There are around 700 species of eucalyptus from which koalas eat less than 50 species. Some people thought that do koalas eat bamboo? But they do not eat bamboo; they only feed on eucalyptus. 

What Does Sloth Eat?

The diet of two-toed sloths includes both plants and animals because they are omnivorous. Their food mainly consists of fruits, leaves, insects, and small lizards. On the other hand, the three-toed sloths are mostly plant-eaters. Their diet includes leaves and buds from selected species primarily. However, these leaves are difficult to digest, but sloths have a multi-chambered stomach like other herbivorous mammals filled with symbiotic bacteria that can break down the cellulose. Sloths can take even a month to digest their food.

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How Fast Can a Koala Run?

Koalas are slow-moving marsupial when they are on the ground; they can run at an average speed of 32 km per hour. On the other hand, sloths are very slow compared with most of the mammals.

Baby Koala: (Koala Reproduction)

A baby koala is called a joey, which is born after a gestation period of 35 days. When the joey is born, it only measures 2 centimeters long and weighs about half a gram. After birth, the joey climbs into its mother’s pouch. When the joey becomes too big for its mother pouch, it will rise on its mother’s back and ride.

Baby Sloth: (Sloth Reproduction)

Sloths mate and give birth in trees when the female is ready to mate she yells a high-pitched sound. People get confused to do sloths fight with each other or not; when more than one male hears the call, they compete with each other to get the mating rights. 

However, the breeding habits and gestation period varies widely by sloth species. The three-toed sloths mate during the late summer and give birth early in the next year. In comparison, the reproductive system in two-toed sloth species happens year-round. All-female sloth delivers a single baby at a time. After the baby is born, it is weaned by the mother from five weeks to six months. 

Are Koala Endangered?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classified koalas as least concern because of its wide distribution and large population. However, the Australian government declared koalas as vulnerable. The Australian foundation estimates there are around 43,000 to 80,000 koalas left in the world. The biggest threats to koalas are habitat loss, natural predators like large owls and dingoes, and accidental death by cars.

Are Sloth Endangered?

According to the IUCN, four out of six living species of sloth are listed as least concern. Although, the three-toed species which are native to Brazil are rapidly decreasing and list as vulnerable. Humans are considered as significant threats to the sloths, along with deforestation and poaching.

Sloth vs Koala: Fight Comparison

Koala and sloth, both are well-recognized and adored by humans. Both of them are quite similar and are relatively slow mammals. They spend most of their daytime sleeping in trees and eating a lot. Koala and sloth, both habitats in different regions, so it may not be possible that both will come together and fight. However, if this happened then, sloths have chances of winning because they have a stronger structure than a koala.

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