Koalas begging firefighters for water have turn out to be emblematic of Australia’s latest wildfire woes. However other than these uncommon interactions, scientists have by no means been fairly positive how koalas drink. Now, a brand new research has documented the primary proof of the intelligent manner they keep hydrated: by licking water from the graceful bark of gum bushes because it rains.
Previous analysis has steered that as a result of koalas spend the overwhelming majority of their time in bushes, they possible get most of their water from the eucalyptus leaves they eat. However over the course of seven years—from 2006 to 2013—citizen scientists, ecologists, and landowners reported 46 sightings of tree-licking conduct (above) in wild koalas. Researchers reviewed video and photographic proof, they usually discovered that even when puddles or lakes have been close by, koalas were more likely to drink the water running down trees, they report this month in Ethology.
Koalas face quite a few threats, and dwindling entry to water is excessive on the record. Australia is presently experiencing its driest interval on report, with larger common temperatures and fewer days of rain. If tree licking gives a major proportion of koalas’ water wants, researchers hope their outcomes can determine areas the place water ought to be supplemented because the rain dries up.
— to www.sciencemag.org