The koala says ...


So. That's the sound a koala makes. Huh.

It's not really very cute, is it?

But it does get the job done. Specifically, this is the call of the horny male koala—and this sound is such an effective mating technique that simply hearing it can cause female koalas to go into heat. (Insert your own Koala Justin Bieber joke here.) Scienceline explains the importance of koala "bellowing":

The timbre of a koala's bellow seems to have something to do with its size, age and androgen (a sex hormone) concentration. Older males bellow more, bigger males bellow longer, and those with more androgen have deeper bellows. One study found that when the male koala is 2-4 years older than the female, the mating is more likely to be successful, leading some to suggest that females use male calls to gage their relative sexiness.

Via Bora Zivkovik

Image courtesy Wikipedia user Quartl, via CC


  1. “and this sound is such an effective mating technique that simply hearing it can cause female koalas to go into heat.”

    I want one of those.

  2. Reminds me of being frightened nearly out of my skin by a porcupine mating groan (I don’t what else to call it!) coming from high up a tree outside my window one dark night. There’s no real way to describe it other than to say it truly does raise the hair on the back of one’s neck. Brr!!!

  3. Well, wasn’t I born the wrong species. Majestic, rhythmic belching — in my experience — does not act as a human aphrodisiac.

  4. Having been in the near proximity of koalas, I knew this – and use it to my advantage in the odd occasions it comes up in conversation.

    For example, when my 4 and my 6 year olds saw a cartoon of cute koalas and asked me what they sound like in the wild – and I proceeded to make the same noise to my full lung capacity. Should have seen their faces!!! :D My wife has seen me doing the deed before, but watching our kids’ reaction was priceless.

    I can only hope they’ll be asked one day at school what sound a koala makes, I’d love to see the faces of the other kids and teacher! :D

  5. The first time you hear this outside your window at night, I guarantee you will piss the bed. It sounds like a giant man is violently masturbating and looking for a way in.

  6. That awesome recording doesn’t quite convey how /loud/ a koala is. It’s startling how something so relatively small can bellow so massively.

  7. I remember when I first heard this sound in the bush. I was convinced we were being stalked by a giant wild boar ala razorback.

    When I’ve heard it in real life it has sounded much louder, deeper and scarier than that rather tinny recording.

    They can also be pretty aggressive in the wild, maybe dropbears are real after all.

  8. We used to get this a lot in the gum trees right behind the house we lived in. We sort of got used to it after a while.

    Visitors didn’t like it so much though. One friend, who was about three at the time, thought it was my wife snoring. Thinking back, I can see how she made that mistake.

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