The Sugar Glider ( Petaurus breviceps )


The Sugar Glider is a small creature that is around 40cm's from nose to tail and weighs around 150 grams. They have a shiny gray brown coat with a light cream colored undercoat and big, bold black eyes. Some say they resemble a cross between a possum and a miniature squirrel. They have a long furry tail with a dark colored tip and a dark strip down the middle of its head and down its back. Some Sugar Gliders do not have a tail though as their only predator, the Night Owl, swoops down and snaps off their tail. Tails are regularly spotted on the ground by bushwalkers.
Sugar Gliders are native to Australia so are usually found along Eastern and Northern Australia and are wide spread through Tasmania as well. They live in a very warm, tropical environment. 15 to 30 (seven adults and their young) would nest in empty hollow trees lined with leaves to make it extra comfy!
The Sugar Glider has physically adapted to its environment in many ways such as its big eyes so it can lookout for predators and watch where it is going while gliding. They also have a grooming claw which is just two toes on the back feet that are put together creating a comb. They flick it through their fur to keep it clean and fluffy.
They also have behavioural adaptations such as the screeching noise (crabbing) they make if they are bothered, frightened or provoked but the most annoying sound that the Sugar Glider makes is the nightly barking! It is a very loud repeated 'bark' that they use to find others. They also sleep during the day and wake up in the evening they are very active, lively and social animals. They feed at night on nectar, pollen, insects and the sap from trees such as the eucalyptus.
The most unique adaptation of the Sugar Glider is the gliding membrane it has grow between its front and hind legs so they can glide from one treetop to the next. They can glide approximately to 100 feet and can even catch insects while midair! Another adaptation unique is their semi-prehensile tail in which they can hold and carry things like bark and sticks to make a nest and to hold onto branches. Their tail is also used to help it steer while gliding.