Friday, September 10, 2010

Sugar Glider, The Flying Squirrel | Sugar Glider, scientifically called Petaurus breviceps "short-headed rope-dancer" is a small arboreal gliding possum, and a type of marsupial mammal.
Their name came from early bushman who found they liked sweet things like honey and sugar and from their ability to glide between trees

They are silvery blue grey in colour (dark stripe on back) , very light (100 to 160g), their body length is around 200mm long with a similar length tail
It is thought that Sugar gliders live for 9 years in their natural habitat
The sugar glider makes a variety of noises ranging from shrill yapping ( predator is near), a sharp shriek (when fighting)to a "gurgling chatter" when in their nest.

The gliding membrane (a very thin skin) extends from the fifth finger to the ankle. By spreading out this membrane they can glide distances of 50 to 100 meters from tree to tree.
They use their long bushy tail for stability and steering as well as "tilting" the left or right membrane, and lands successfully on its outstretched feet.

Location Found where there is plenty of rainfall (both cool and tropical climate) in wet and dry forests and woodland, usually with acacia gum plants about

Sugar Gliders are active at night and during the day sleep in a nest made of leaves in tree-hollows.
Anywhere from 7 and 12 gliders will co-habitat in these nests, some say to help keep themselves warm by sharing body heat.
Another way they can conserve heat, when food is scarce or temperatures plummet, is to go into a Torpor (Like a mild hibernation- where its body temperature drops down close to the air around them)
They are playful amongst their own "clan" group but will fiercely attack any intruder whether it be another Sugar Glider or a totally different animal.
Dominant male sugar gliders will scent other clan members and the territory around the nest.

The Sugar Glider feeds on the gum and sap from acacias and eucalyptus as well as eating a range of arboreal insects (insects living off trees)
This feeding and foraging takes place after dusk click for info on pic

Sugar Gliders breed from July to November so the young are taken care of during spring and summer when there is plenty of food.
Being Marsupials the young remain in a pouch usually for just over 2 months. The pouch is forward facing with two teats, and thus often twins are born. After these first 2 months the young are then left for a further month or so in the nest.
They then leave the nest to forage for food under the guidance of either their father or mother

Watch on this video: (Nino Guevara Ruwano)

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