Comparison of the week: Kangaroo vs koala
It's the battle of Australia's native icons, and there can only be one winner.
"Seeing a kangaroo and a koala" tops the list for every tourist visiting Australia. But what if time is short? If you had to pick just one for a visiting relative, which furry grey specimen is going to make the cut?
To save you the effort of deciding, we've ranked Skippy against Blinky Bill in the ultimate marsupial face-off. Pouches ahoy, let's do this!
|Cuteness||The pouch and the tail are iconic, but their default expression in nature is "so what's it to ya?"||Judging from what we see at souvenir shops, koalas have totally won the cuteness wars.||Koala|
|Sociability||Typically form into mobs.||Typically ignore each other except when fighting over who gets to mate.||Kangaroo|
|Lifestyle||An endless lifestyle of boxing, mating and running – a bit like being a personal trainer but with more fur.||Sleeps 20 hours a day. No contest here.||Koala|
|Speed||Top speed of 70km/h.||Top speed of 30km/h (but more usually 1 branch a day).||Kangaroo|
|Personality||Aggro and overheated. Career in politics a definite possibility.||Either unconscious, grumpy or urinating. Career in politics a definite possibility.||Draw|
|Swimming||Routinely swim to escape danger.||Will drown if thrown in a swimming pool.||Kangaroo|
|Sexual weirdness||Female kangaroos have three vaginas.||50% of the koala population has chlamydia. Well done everyone.||Kangaroo|
|Edibility||Great for steaks, snags, stews, burgers and more, and widely available in supermarkets.||Illegal to eat them, and not worth the effort by all accounts.||Kangaroo|
|Parenting skills||Female kangaroos are perpetually pregnant, and thus are ideal subjects for a country song.||Female koalas abandon their young as soon as they wean, and thus are ideal subjects for a country song.||Draw|
|Geography||Visit Kangaroo Island off SA, a fab destination for wildlife tours, adventure sports and fine food.||Visit Koala St in Parkes NSW, noted for absolutely nothing. (Ironically, Kangaroo Island also has a koala sanctuary.)||Kangaroo|
|Famous examples||Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, a globally successful and much-loved TV series.||Blinky Bill, unknown to anyone outside Australia other than expats.||Kangaroo|
It's a clear and unambiguous win for the kangaroo here. Internationally famous, versatile, sociable, delicious in a stew, and just all around the better animal. Sorry, koalas, but you're officially on the B-list.
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