Facts about Koalas – More about Phascolarctos Cinereus

Koalas are oftenly referred to as bear. This occurs because the animal has always been cuddly. However, this is a misconception because they are not really a bear. They are more of a marsupial. This means that have always been a pouched mammal. This is just one of the facts about Koalas that most people are not aware of. Well, they should because the said mammal is not as easy as it looks like. Usually, as an infant emerge from it, it will ride on the back of the mother. This may even cling to its belly. This is a way to accompany the mentioned until it is already a year older.

The Behavior and Diet

Koalas are usually from the eastern Australia. This is where the eucalyptus trees are situated. These have always been plentiful. As a matter of fact, they are unlikely to stay on leaves. They also have their sharp claws and even that of opposable digits. This is a way for them to be kept aloft for most of the occurrences. Whenever they doze, they would always tuck themselves into nooks or forks. These are all going to be in the trees. They would most likely sleep there for almost 18 hours.

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Whenever they are not sleeping, the koala would feed itself on eucalyptus trees. They would always do this at night. Koalas are not really water drinkers. They would obtain their moisture from the leaves they see. That is how it has always been. For every animal comes a really tremendous amount of size. Usually, this is two and a half pound. This is true about their leaves. They can do this with their pouches which is again, commendable. They do not often perform this but they actually can.

They also have this special digestive system. This is known to be a long gut. This would normally allow a koala to break the eucalyptus leaves. This is a way for them to remain unharmed most especially through a poison. Koalas are responsible in eating leaves and because of this, they would normally take a distinctive odor originating from the oil. This may be reminiscent to that of cough drops which is another.

As for the koala’s population, the plump may be perceived. This is normally perceived and hunted ever since the year 1920 to 1930. This is when the population plunges. Usually, koalas are helped through reintroduction. As a matter of fact, they have almost reappeared and this is very much true from their former range. The populations are way scattered and smaller though. With this, Koalas would always depend for a great whole lot of space. They would be needing hundred trees for every animal there is. This has been a problem faced by the woodlands of Australia. Up until now, they are still shrinking.

There are still many possibilities linked with koalas. Needless to say, they add up to the beauty of Australia. Once you see one, do not forget to admire its beauty!

The Great Barrier Reef Facts – What are they really about?

The planet comes with a living structure of course. This is where the Great Barrier Reef is talked about. This is known to be rich and diverse in all its might. Indeed, there are so many Great Barrier Reef facts that have to be learned about. First of all, it stretches in 2, 3000 kilometers. This is considered to be a natural icon on its own. It can be large and it may even be perceived in the space. This is how it has been.

Aside from its expanse, the reefs became popular because of the colorful maze they have. They are also intricate as far as architecture is concerned. They have the ability to provide a shelter, haven and home for a great number of animals and plants. There are some that live there like crocodiles and turtles. These are already around ever since the prehistoric times. The marine cultures are just breath taking in the most possible way there is. They have almost 600 types of hard corals. These can be soft too. There are almost 100 species of jellyfish around. Most of these are of 3000 varieties. These are the mollusks. As for the worms, they are 500 species. There are also 1625 kinds of fish. Sharks and rays have 133 varieties while dolphins and whales come with 30 species.

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Needless to say, The Great Barrier Relief will always be unique. It has the chance to extend to almost 14 degrees. This might be coming from latitude and other shallow estuarine areas. All of these may be deep in the oceanic waters.

The presence of the coral reefs made the place famous. This cannot be denied. This is made up of almost seven per cent of Marine Park. The same is also the case with the World Heritage Area.

As for the remaining part of the Marine Park, this is known to be an extraordinary variety of different marine habitats. This ranges from the shallow inshore areas like the mangroves, seagrass, sponge gardens, algal, sand and even most of the inter-reefal communities. Deep oceanic areas are almost around too. These are more than just 250km offshore.

Instead of owning a one level protection through the entire Marine Park, the area is said to be divided into various zones. Each zone comes with rules which would outline activities that are sometimes prohibited.

Now the real question is – how big is the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park then? To have an estimation, the Tasmania and Victoria can be combined. That is the expanse of it. It may also be bigger than that of Holland, United Kingdom and Switzerland when put together. These are of the same area with that of Malaysia, Japan, Germany and even that of Italy. This is also half the size of Texas. This may even be smaller than that of the whole Baltic Sea.

Most of the time, the Marine Park can always stretch and this may be 2,300 km just along that of the Queensland coast. This is situated in the northern-eastern Australia.

Overview of ALL- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in Children

What is ALL?

Simply put, ALL (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia) is a cancer in the blood. Normal white blood cells reproduce, and then mature to fight sickness. They are like little soldiers in the blood. When a child develops ALL, his white blood cells reproduce, but those cells do not mature, they just continue to reproduce. Those cells are called Blasts, and they crowd out the good, mature cells, causing the child to catch illnesses more quickly.

Symptoms of ALL

Though there are varied symptoms for the onset of ALL Leukemia, the following are a few red flags that can help determine whether a child should be seen by a physician:

  • Aches in arms, legs, back (some children will complain that their hip or leg hurts)
  • Black-and-blue marks for no apparent reason (indicating a low red blood cell count)
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Fever without obvious cause (or prolonged low grade fever)
  • Headaches
  • Pale-looking skin (low red blood cells)
  • Prolonged bleeding from minor cuts (low platelets)
  • Shortness of breath during physical activity
  • Tiredness (low red blood cells)
  • Vomiting.

Children may seem to have the flu, acting listless, and not wanting to eat or drink. In interpreting symptoms, consider whether the child has been with other children recently that are sick with the same symptoms.

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Once a child is diagnosed with ALL, treatment will begin immediately. A Mediport or Broviac port will be inserted into the child’s chest to make blood draws, and chemotherapy treatments easier. Hospital stays are usually about a week, and then treatments are given as outpatient appointments.

Chemotherapy for ALL

Chemotherapy will be administered by mouth, into the vein through the port, and also injected into the spinal cord (this is to prevent blasts from hiding out in the spinal fluid in the spine and brain). The following are some of the medicines that a child may receive:

  • MTX (Methotrexate)
  • VCR (Vincristine)
  • 6MP (Mercaptipurine)
  • Decadron (Dexamethazone- a steroid that raises white blood cell counts, and also combats leukemia blasts),
  • Bactrim (a pneumonia preventative).
  • Zofran may also be helpful to lessen the severity of nausea and vomiting due to the chemo.
  • Miralax helps counteract the constipating side effects of Vincristine.

The treatment will be very intense for the first month in order to remove the blasts. Many children are in remission after the first month.

Schedule of Leukemia Treatment

The first 6 months of treatment for ALL will consist of weekly treatments in clinic, and daily chemotherapy given by mouth, and also Lumbar Punctures where they take samples of the fluid to check for blasts, and inject Methotrexate. Blood counts will be analyzed every appointment, and chemo doses will be adjusted, or sometimes put on hold depending on how low the white blood cell counts are.

Sometimes, because of the chemo, other counts will be low, and transfusions will be necessary. Red blood cell transfusions, and Platelet transfusions are given through the port, and can last a few hours on a slow drip. Near the end of the first 6 months, there will be a more intense time of extra chemotherapy.

After that, there is a maintenance period of treatment that continues to control the white blood cell count. This usually lasts around 3 years for boys, and 2 years for girls. A chemotherapy schedule is more relaxed, of monthly VCR, weekly MTX, and quarterly LP and IT MTX (injected into the spinal cord), and daily 6MP by mouth, plus the Decadron after VCR treatments.


Because of the low blood counts, and also the risk of infection to the port, it will be important to limit children with leukemia in regards to being in crowds, going to school, and being in places that contain molds and germs. Beaches and outside sand will be off limits for a while, as will leaf piles, and other places that bacteria and mold grow. They may be more sensitive to the sun, and to bright light. Also, due to loss of hair in the first 6 months, a hat will be necessary to protect from cold and sun.

End of Treatment

The end of treatment date is set at the beginning of the maintenance period, and at the End of Treatment, the port will be removed, and the child will be allowed to stop taking chemotherapy. Appointments at the clinic will still continue on a monthly basis, to check the blood counts, and make sure the Leukemia doesn’t return.

Encouragement for The Treatment Years

Though, at the beginning it seems overwhelming, the new life of caring for children with ALL does become easier as each day passes. The schedules and new limitations become almost normal, and more comfortable to accept. Every day will have small blessings, and if those little joys are noticed and remembered, even the treatment years can be thought of with fondness. Families become closer to each other, and find faith and strength that never would have surfaced without this trial.

Note: many treatments and medications vary depending on the unique circumstances of each child.