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Posted by on Oct 15, 2020 in TellMeWhy |

How Did Sugar Glider Get Its Name?

How Did Sugar Glider Get Its Name?

How did sugar glider get its name? Where does the word come from? The sugar glider is a squirrel-sized arboreal marsupial that inhabits the forests of Australia and New Guinea. That means it’s more closely related to the kangaroo. The sugar glider has soft, thick, mink-like, gray fur that covers its body and tail.

A black stripe runs the full length of the body in line with the spine and crown of the head. The tip of the tail is black. This small animal is highly social, lives in small colonies or family groups numbers up to seven adults and their offsprings.

They are called sugar gliders as they eat sweet sap and glide like flying squirrels. These marsupials are able to glide up to 45 meters (148.5 ft.) and have been observed to leap at and catch moths in flight. Now we know how sugar glider get its name.

They eat a variety of things, including bugs and vegetables. But they prefer nectar. They eat it in the form of the sweet sap of eucalyptus, acacia, and other trees. Sugar gliders are actually omnivorous opportunistic feeders, consuming both plant and animal matter.

The little sugar glider’s menu choice has a dark side, though. Their appetite for the endangered swift parrot’s nestlings in Tasmania is a grave threat to the bird’s survival there.

They have a gliding membrane called the patagium. It extends from their fingers along the sides of their bodies to their toes, like webbing. (similar to a flying squirrel) that stretches from their wrist to their ankles, allowing them to glide – not fly – from tree to tree.

To glide, sugar gliders leap from a higher place to a lower place. They use their arms, legs, special membrane, and tail to glide through the air. They can glide over distances of up to 150 feet! Their webbed membrane acts as a parachute to slow their fall.

Sugar gliders are nocturnal. This means they sleep during the day and actively hunt for food at night. When the weather is cold or food is scarce, sugar gliders will cut their activity. They enter an emergency resting phase called torpor.

Like hibernation, torpor is a survival tactic used by animals to survive the winter months. It also involves a lower body temperature, breathing rate, heart rate, and metabolic rate. During torpor, they may sleep up to 23 hours a day.

Sugar gliders are exotic animals. Still, they have become popular pets in some areas. Most states allow people to keep sugar gliders as pets. However, there are a few states that either do not allow sugar gliders to be kept as pets or regulate their existence. These include California, Hawaii, Alaska, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

Sugar gliders take time — sometimes several months — to bond with their owners. In the process, they’ve been known to bite, which can be a danger to younger children. Sugar gliders also have special dietary needs. You can’t just buy a bag of “sugar glider food” at the store. Most sugar gliders need fresh foods prepared daily, including fruits, vegetables, and insects.

Since they’re nocturnal, getting used to living with a sugar glider can be difficult. Your noise during the day can keep a sugar glider from getting its rest. Likewise, the sugar glider’s nighttime activities can keep you awake!

These little creatures might tolerate human presence, but their needs in captivity are identical to the needs of their wild counterparts. Sugar gliders do not make good pets. They are wild animals whose complex needs can never be met in captivity. Forcing them into domestic life of confinement results in a pet that is suffering, unhappy, and unhealthy.

Content for this question contributed by Jason Lengemann, resident of Coon Rapids, Carroll and Guthrie counties, Iowa, USA