white sugar glider
white sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) is a small, omnivorous, arboreal, and nocturnal gliding possum. The common name refers to its predilection for sugary foods such as sap and nectar and its ability to glide through the air, much like a flying squirrel.
white sugar glider
They have very similar habits and appearance to the flying squirrel, despite not being closely related—an example of convergent evolution. The scientific name, Petaurus breviceps, translates from Latin as “short-headed rope-dancer”, a reference to their canopy acrobatics.
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The sugar glider is characterised by its pair of gliding membranes, known as patagia, which extend from its forelegs to its hindlegs. Gliding serves as an efficient means of reaching food and evading predators. The animal is covered in soft, pale grey to light brown fur which is countershaded, being lighter in colour on its underside.
Distribution and habitat white sugar glider
Sugar gliders are distributed in the coastal forests of southeastern Queensland and most of New South Wales. Their distribution extends to altitudes of 2000m in the eastern ranges. In parts of its range, it may overlap with Krefft’s glider (P. notatus).
white sugar glider flying
The white sugar glider occurs in sympatry with the squirrel glider and yellow-bellied glider; and their coexistence is permitted through niche partitioning where each species has different patterns of resource use. Like all arboreal, nocturnal marsupials, sugar gliders are active at night, and they shelter during the day in tree hollows lined with leafy twigs.
Diet and nutrition white tip sugar glider
Sugar gliders are seasonally adaptive omnivores with a wide variety of foods in their diet, and mainly forage in the lower layers of the forest canopy. white sugar glider may obtain up to half their daily water intake through drinking rainwater, with the remainder obtained through water held in its food.
Like most marsupials, female white sugar glider have two ovaries and two uteri; they are polyestrous, meaning they can go into heat several times a year. The female has a marsupium (pouch) in the middle of her abdomen to carry offspring. The pouch opens anteriorly, and two lateral pockets extend posteriorly when young are present.
white sugar glider pet
Four nipples are usually present in the pouch, although reports of individuals with two nipples have been recorded. Male sugar gliders have a bifurcated penis to correspond with the two uteri of females.
Socialisation white sugar glider
Sugar gliders are highly social animals. They live in family groups or colonies consisting of up to seven adults, plus the current season’s young. Up to four age classes may exist within each group, although some sugar gliders are solitary, not belonging to a group. They engage in social grooming, which in addition to improving hygiene and health, helps bond the colony and establish group identity.
Conservation white sugar glider
Under the prior taxonomy, the sugar glider was not considered endangered, and its conservation rank was “Least Concern (LC)” on the IUCN Red List. However, with newer taxonomic studies indicating that it has a small and restricted range, it is now thought to be far more sensitive to potential threats.
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