It’s a misconception that Koalas don’t have a rib cage and that is why they don’t like to be picked up. Of course, they do have a rib cage to protect their internal organs. However, while most mammals--including marsupials and primates like us--have 13 thoracic vertebrae and therefore 13 pairs of ribs, Koalas have only 11 pairs; the least of any recorded marsupial species. They have a curved spine and a cartilaginous pad over the end of the spine which may make it more comfortable to sit on branches and in tree forks. Koalas are sensitive around their abdominal area and need something to grip onto when being picked up. A Koala should not be picked up under its arms like a toddler because it’s accustomed to gripping onto branches with its front paws, and it will feel uncomfortable and vulnerable.