They eat many other foods when available, such as nectar, acacia seeds, bird eggs, pollen, fungi and native fruits. In the wild, sugar gliders enter into daily torpor more often than sugar gliders in captivity. The sugar glider has a squirrel-like body with a long, partially weakly  prehensile tail. When the legs are stretched out, this membrane allows the sugar glider to glide a considerable distance. Odours may be used to mark territory, convey health status of an individual, and mark rank of community members.
They live in family groups or colonies consisting of up to seven adults, plus the current season's young. The mother has a scent gland in the external marsupium to attract the sightless joeys from the uterus. Four nipples are usually present in the pouch, although reports of individuals with two nipples have been recorded. They are born largely undeveloped and furless, with only the sense of smell being developed. Sexual dimorphism has likely evolved due to increased mate competition arising through social group structure; and is more pronounced in regions of higher latitude, where mate competition is greater due to increased food availability. Odours may be used to mark territory, convey health status of an individual, and mark rank of community members. Its belly, throat, and chest are cream in colour. Up to four age classes may exist within each group, although some sugar gliders are solitary, not belonging to a group. Native owls Ninox sp. These opposable toes are clawless, and bend such that they can touch all the other digits, like a human thumb , allowing it to firmly grasp branches. When the legs are stretched out, this membrane allows the sugar glider to glide a considerable distance. Sugar gliders are one of the few species of mammals that exhibit male parental care. The gliding membrane is visible along its side. Males reach maturity at 4 to 12 months of age, while females require from 8 to 12 months. Males have four scent glands , located on the forehead, chest, and two paracloacal associated with, but not part of the cloaca which is the common opening for the intestinal, urinal and genital tracts that are used for marking of group members and territory. Within social communities, there are two codominant males who suppress subordinate males, but show no aggression towards each other. Taxonomy[ edit ] The genus Petaurus is believed to have originated during the early-mid Miocene period 18 to 24 million years ago , then dispersed from New Guinea to Australia where Australian Petaurus species diverged. In the wild, sugar gliders breed once or twice a year depending on the climate and habitat conditions, while they can breed multiple times a year in captivity as a result of consistent living conditions and proper diet. These co-dominant pairs are more related to each other than to subordinates within the group; and share food, nests, mates, and responsibility for scent marking of community members and territories. This allows female sugar gliders to retain the ability to glide when pregnant. They are opportunistic feeders and can be carnivorous , preying mostly on lizards and small birds. The eyes are set far apart, allowing more precise triangulation from launching to landing locations while gliding. The eyes are adapted for night vision and the ears swivel. The second and third digits of the hind foot are partially syndactylous fused together , forming a grooming comb. Gliders glide with the fore- and hind-limbs extended at right angles to their body, with their feet flexed upwards. The membrane is supported by well developed tibiocarpalis, humerodorsalis and tibioabdominalis muscles, and its movement is controlled by these supporting muscles in conjunction with trunk, limb and tail movement.
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