Today’s doodlewash was destined to be an Australian animal as there seems to be a penchant for “K” names there. Beating out the kangaroo and kookaburra by a hair is this fluffy little koala, which I doodlewashed with a very limited palette since I was primarily focused on recreating all the fluff. I’ve always thought these little guys were cute and when I was a kid I wanted one. I was assured this wasn’t an option and had to settle for a plush version instead.
The Koala is one of only a few mammals who can survive solely on eucalyptus leaves. This diet, though fibrous, is actually a toxic, low-nutrition diet, much like eating at McDonald’s. Unlike humans, however, koalas have the ability to limit their energy by sleeping 20 hours a day in order to cope with such a crappy menu. Though their eyesight is rather poor, they have an excellent sense of smell, so they can always choose the tastiest toxic leaves to eat.
While super cute, koalas have one of the tiniest brains for their size making them well, rather special. Apparently though, when early European settlers first encountered koalas in Australia, they thought the tree-climbing animals were bears or monkeys, as these are such similar creatures. So koalas can rest easy knowing that brain size is not always a strong predictor of cognitive skill. Later, they would continue to be inaccurately described as “koala bears,” which, I guess is somewhat better than being called koala monkeys. Next up is “L” so if you have a suggestion, please shout it out in the comments!
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink and second Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal