The Sugar Glider
Nature's Adorable Base Jumper
The sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) is a small, omnivorous, arboreal, and nocturnal gliding possum belonging to the marsupial infraclass. The common name refers to its preference for sugary nectarous foods and ability to glide through the air, much like a flying squirrel. They have very similar appearance and habits 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.
Sugar gliders are characterised by their gliding membrane, known as the patagium, which extends from their forelegs to hindlegs. Gliding serves as an efficient means of both reaching food and evading predators. They are covered in soft, pale grey to brown fur, which is lighter in colour on their underside. The sugar glider is endemic to mainland Australia, New Guinea and certain Indonesian islands; and it was introduced to Tasmania, probably in the 1830s. Sugar gliders are found throughout the northern and eastern parts of mainland Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea and several associated isles.
- Cutie Face
Sugar Gliders Are Awesome
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Small & Cute
The Petaurus genus likely originated during the early-mid Miocene period (18-24 million years ago), then dispersed from New Guinea to Australia where Australian Petaurus species diverged.