Male Koalas Have a Crazy Sex Organ in Their Throats

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Male koalas are like the douche-bros of the animal kingdom. Sometimes cute, rarely cuddly, and always horny as hell, these little fellas are the subject of a new study in Current Biology which examines their particularly disturbing bellows, or mating calls. (If you’re wondering what they sound like, turn up the volume on your computer and enjoy this little chestnut – it’s a magical combination of an extended burp and a fart and apparently the sensual equivalent of a  five-star meal and a Broadway show for female koalas.

The longer an animal’s vocal chords, the deeper their call, yet researchers were puzzled because male koalas’ vocal chords average at 9.8 millimeters (humans’ are between 17 and 25 millimeters) and the koalas were making sounds below 27.1 hertz, number of sound waves per second. They should have only been able to produce around 390 hertz.

The study found that koalas aren’t just using their larynx, or voice box, but their pharynx, through “velar vascular folds” that run between the nasal and oral parts of the pharynx. This combination of sound produces their particularly low decibel call.  The only other mammal that has a sound-producing organ outside of the larynx is the toothed whale who creates clicks with phonic lips in their blowholes that they use for echolocation.

So basically, male koalas have their own creepy marsupial version of Deep Throat going on. Touché bros. You’ve outdone us all.


Image via Flickr