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Sugar gliders: tiny acrobats - pets

 

In the last decade or so, the popularity of sugar gliders as pets has grown considerably. The small size of these furry acrobats, their personalities, their plush fur, their large eyes, their dexterity and their aptitude to bond attentively with humans have attracted legions of new sugar glider devotees.

What is a sugar glider and where did they firstly come from? Sugar gliders are small marsupials and members of the possum family. They are found in Australia, Tasmania, Indonesia, and New Guinea. Their logical name is Petaurus breviceps. Most sugar gliders these days are captive-bred and not wild-caught.

Like their bigger marsupial cousins, kangaroos, sugar gliders have a pouch where their infants grow and develop. Their young are called "joeys," as are the young of kangaroos. You may come crosswise the term OOP while researching sugar gliders on the internet. OOP means "out-of-pouch" and it indicates how long the joey has been from tip to toe out of his mother's pouch. Joeys are ready to go to a new home at approximately 8 weeks OOP.

Sugar gliders are approximately chipmunk-sized, measuring about 9 to 12 inches long (including their long tail), and they weigh about 3 to 6 ounces as adults. Their common color is steel gray to brownish with a black hoop down the back, but selective breeding in detention has brought out other color variations, counting albinos. In captivity, they can live as long as 15 years, while 8 to 12 years is more usual.

One of the most distinguishing skin texture of sugar gliders is a thin membrane, called a patagium, that stretches among their front and rear legs, much like the more comfortable brief squirrels of North America. This is what allows them to glide from tree to tree. When they glide, the skin spreads out, building sugar gliders look like furry kites! When the sugar glider is sitting, the patagium looks like messy furry skin, shaped a bit like the edge of lasagna noodles.

Their tail is not prehensile, dissimilar their more common American opossum cousins. That means that sugar gliders cannot grasp, grip and hang from their tails. Instead, the tail is used as a balancing and stabilizing tool, chiefly while gliding.

Sugar gliders are nocturnal, which means they are effective at night. They have very large (relative to their size) eyes, which help them see at night. They also have large ears, an noticeable assistance to an brute who is both preyed-upon and a predator. Those big ears allow them to hear even the negligible sound.

Sugar gliders have fixed teeth, incisors, molars, and premolars. You must not trim your sugar glider's teeth. Contrasting some species, such as guinea pigs, their teeth do not carry on to grow once mature. If a tooth falls out, it is not replaced. Wild gliders chew on brushwood and in the process, clean their teeth. Gliders in cages will also chew on branches.

Sugar gliders have 5 toes on their front feet. Each toe ends with a very sharp claw that helps them land when they glide. Those claws also make gliders very agile climbers. Their hind feet also have 5 toes, but one of them is an enlarged, clawless opposable toe. An opposable toe means that they can use that toe to grip things, much as humans' opposable thumbs allow us to do the same.

Why are they called "sugar gliders"? In the wild, sugar gliders eat, as part of their diet, manna (a cantankerous sugar left where sap flowed from a tree trunk or branch) and honeydew (an glut sugar formed by sap-sucking insects). In captivity, sugar gliders have a keenness for sweet foods. They will eat too many sweets if allowed, so sweet foods must be rationed.

In the wild, sugar gliders nest in holes of trees in colonies of 7 to 15 members and have been experiential gliding as far as 300 feet! The capability to glide is one of the most amazing skin texture of sugar gliders, and one of the effects that makes them such exceptional pets. Doctrine your sugar glider to glide to you is very rewarding!

Sugar gliders are collective animals, which means they live in groups. They get along with and love the business other sugar gliders, and many sugar glider owners decide on to have more than one glider. It is their community description that allows them to acquire beefy bonds with their human owners. But it is also that communal character that creates their need for concentration from their owners. Sugar gliders are not the kind of pet that can be left for long periods of time lacking any awareness from their owners. The more time you spend with your sugar glider, the more he will develop into bonded with you.

Many sugar glider owners bond with their new gliders by shipping them about in a bonding pouch for more than a few hours a day while the glider sleeps. Sugar gliders are every now and then called "pocket pets" since they will often curl up in your bag and go to sleep!

Diet and housing are maybe the two most chief factors in deciding whether a sugar glider is the right pet for you. Sugar gliders call for a diverse diet consisting of a protein font (meat, insects, etc. ), a fruit and/or vegetable source, and a supplement of calcium. There are business sugar glider dry and soft-pellet foods available, but it is not optional that you feed your sugar glider a diet consisting only of these ad foods. Sugar gliders call for fresh food sources in adding to any business food. Calcium is also crucial to their diet, and there are a amount of goods on the marketplace that will allow you to by far add calcium to your sugar glider's diet.

Sugar gliders call for as tall a cage as possible. They feel safer up high since they are as usual tree-dwellers. 30 inches tall is commonly the bare bare minimum for a sugar glider cage, but most breeders and sugar glider experts advocate cages 4 feet tall or higher. Many sugar glider owners buy departure cages calculated for finches and other small birds. The escape cages are tall a sufficient amount and roomy adequate for a sugar glider. It is also not compulsory that sugar glider owners badge their gliders supervised play time in a glider-safe room for at least more than a few hours a day.

Although sugar gliders are loving, kind and adorable, it is optional that an adult close up supervise any young offspring about sugar gliders.

The cost of a sugar glider is approximately $150 to $250. If the glider must be shipped to you via airplane, there will be an extra cost. A few considered necessary color variations can raise the price of a sugar glider considerably.

Miles Fowler is the dramatist of Sugar Gliders: The Crucial Guide, a ample book for both novice and qualified sugar glider owners. Learn more at: http://www. sugargliderauthority. com


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