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Comparison of the week: Kangaroo vs koala

Posted: 28 January 2019 9:00 am
News

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!

The comparison

KangarooKoalaWinner
CutenessThe 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
SociabilityTypically form into mobs.Typically ignore each other except when fighting over who gets to mate.Kangaroo
LifestyleAn 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
SpeedTop speed of 70km/h.Top speed of 30km/h (but more usually 1 branch a day).Kangaroo
PersonalityAggro and overheated. Career in politics a definite possibility.Either unconscious, grumpy or urinating. Career in politics a definite possibility.Draw
SwimmingRoutinely swim to escape danger.Will drown if thrown in a swimming pool.Kangaroo
ConfectioneryDunkaroos.Caramello Koalas.Koala
Sexual weirdnessFemale kangaroos have three vaginas.50% of the koala population has chlamydia. Well done everyone.Kangaroo
EdibilityGreat 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 skillsFemale 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
GeographyVisit 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 examplesSkippy the Bush Kangaroo, a globally successful and much-loved TV series.Blinky Bill, unknown to anyone outside Australia other than expats.Kangaroo

The verdict

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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Image: Getty

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