Prof Koala Clancy here to educate you all about koalas!
You’ve no doubt heard that male koalas have a scent gland: a dark-edged bare patch on our chests. But there is a lot of confusion about what a koala scent gland looks like.
Look at these two photographs. Both are adult males with fully-formed scent glands. Its pretty obvious isn’t it?
This is Winberry, the dominant male. He is at least 12 years old now.
Then look at this image below. This is a female, and that crease on her chest is not a scent gland – its just a crease in the fur. Notice it has no brown colouring at all, and there’s no stain down her belly.
Got that? Great. Now I’m going to throw a spanner in the works!
Male scent glands take years to form. So when a koala is young, it can be hard to tell male from female. Getting confusing? No worries, I’m explaining it all in How to tell male from female koalas: Part 2.