Sugar, Sugar

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Hi, everyone! It feels like it has been eons since I’ve blogged. Unfortunately, I have been really sick for the past week and haven’t felt like writing. I’m here now and ready to share some exciting facts about my next request: sugar gliders!

Sugar Glider Babies

Yahoo! Images

When I was little, I always admired the sugar gliders at the pet store. Perhaps I wanted one because they are also called “Sugar Bears.” Not too far from my given name. These adorable little marsupials only grow to be 5 to 6 inches in length, but their tail will double that, making them about a foot long from nose to tail. They are easy to recognize with their soft grey fur and black stripe that runs the entire length of their tail, body, and up over the top of their head.

Sugar bears love companionship. In the wild, they live in family groups that range between 15-40 gliders called “colonies.” As pets, they are incredibly friendly and become very attached to their caring owners and love riding around on shoulders and in shirt pockets. I used to have a mouse that did the same thing. Cute!

Gliding

Sugar gliders are nocturnal by nature and are known for the way they glide through the air (from tree to tree, or from shoulder to houseplant to curtain) using a thin membrane of skin, called a patagium, that stretches from their front to back legs. Just like flying squirrels. Not only that, but they also have opposable fingers on their front paws and one opposable toe on each back paw. Their back paws also have two toes that are fused together but maintain two separate toenails that they use to groom themselves. Have you ever heard of an animal having fused toes like that?

Just like cats, sugar gliders will wipe their back paw over the area that needs cleaned, then clean off the toes with their mouths, and do it again until they are hygienically satisfied.

Not too long ago I posted about researchers that have discovered that dolphins call each other by individual names. As of right now, there isn’t any evidence that suggests that sugar gliders do this, but they do identify each other by distinct scents. Each glider has a unique scent, and when two gliders run into each other, they actually “shake hands” to communicate. Amazing!!

What do you think? Aren’t sugar bears charming? If you are interested in owning one, make sure you read up on proper care. Not only that, but they are illegal to own in four states, so be careful!

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