Physical Characteristics of the Sugar Glider


Sugar gliders (SG), compared to other mammalian pets, are actually quite small at adulthood. An adult specimen will probably measure a maximum of seven inches from the tip of the snout to the tip of its tail.

The average length of an adult sugar glider in captivity is only about five inches, give or take a few centimeters.

When your SG reaches the six-inch mark, you already have an adult sugar glider that is ready to reproduce.

Fur Pattern

Though some variations exist, the common sugar bear has gray fur all over the top of its body. The underside of the honey bear also has fur, but the fur in this region of the marsupial’s body is usually white or cream-colored. The cream-colored underside can easily be seen from afar because of the sharp contrast between the fur on the animal’s neck and the fur on its head.

The sugar glider is a striped marsupial with characteristically thick stripes running from its facial region all the way to its back. The tail of the suggie is a combination of black and silver. The tip is usually covered with black fur. Now let us turn our attention to the SG’s tail. Apart from being soft and cute, the sugar bear’s tail is important for the animal’s movement.


Some people think the glider uses its bushy tail to grab hold of stems and prey. Nope! The suggie’s tail is actually more of a balancing and steering tool. When a honey bear glides, the tail is used to balance the weight and air movement, which then allows the animal to land safely on the other side. The glider-bear can also change its trajectory during the glide by shifting the direction of its tail.

The Glider’s Face

A sugar glider’s face is short, with most of the area being occupied by large eyes. The placement and size of the eyes are quite important for honey gliders in the wild because this ocular presentation allows the animal to scan its surroundings more effectively.

Think of the SG’s eyes as a wide-angle lens. It cannot see very far, but it can view the entire landscape more effectively than other mammals. In one quick scan of its surroundings, a sugar bear can ascertain if danger or food is nearby.

The honey bear’s face is covered with striped fur, except for its ears. The ears are short, soft, and move independently. This capability of the glider bear to move its ears in different directions at the same time allows this tiny marsupial to pick up sounds from its surroundings more efficiently.

Combine this keen sense of hearing with a wide viewing field, and you’ll begin to understand how this small creature has withstood the challenges of natural selection and has emerged as one of the victors of mammalian evolution.

Though small, the sugar glider has been blessed by nature with a peculiar set of tools and senses that allow it outsmart and escape larger predators easily.

The Limbs and Feet

Like humans, sugar bears have a total of twenty digits on their limbs. A glider has a total of ten digits on its forefeet. Each digit is jointed, flexible, and has a sharp sword-like claw. The same applies to its hind feet.

Their long claws allow sugar gliders to grip their landing spots with ease after a short glide. Through gripping, the suggie is able to move from one tree to another with relative ease and without injury. Gripping lessens the impact upon landing and also helps evenly distribute the impact of the landing throughout the glider-bear’s body.

The honey bear’s hind feet are used not only for movement, but also for grooming — a vitally important activity for marsupials. The third and fourth digits on the hind feet of the SG are physically locked together. This fusion creates a handy comb that the glider uses for a variety of daily grooming tasks including (but not limited to) the removal of parasites.

The Gliding Membrane

The gliding membrane is the one thing that truly separates the tiny marsupial from its larger possum cousins. Though this creature may be lacking in height and length, it does not lack in mobility or agility. Let’s take a look at the glider bear’s gliding membrane.

Unlike a bat’s wings, the gliding membrane does not have the ligaments and bones of a skeletal framework. The gliding membrane is simply thick flexible skin that can be spread out extensively during a glide.

When an adult suggie jumps off a high point to glide downward, it stretches its forefeet and hind feet to activate the gliding membrane. Combine this movement with the glider’s tail movements, and you have a perfect little gliding marsupial ready to transport it from tree to tree.

Important Notes:

Many people believe that a sugar glider is merely a miniature version of a flying squirrel. Although at first sight these two animals may look alike, biologically they are very different. For one, marsupials in general have retained some vestiges of their reptilian evolutionary past. These vestigial reptilian characteristics affect the honey bear’s general behavior, capacity for environmental adaptation, physical characteristics, etc.

Are you worried that this marsupial might not live long enough to be fully appreciated by your kids? Don’t be. A well cared for glider-bear can live for as long as twelve years in captivity!

Common Characteristics of Sugar Gliders – Be Familiar With Your Pet

Nowadays, the coolest animal that you can ever have as a pet is a Sugar Glider. This cute and cuddly pet will be surely loved by the kids, also by your family. You can surely be proud having this cute pet.

This exotic animal, like most people, can be very nice to others if they have been treated well. Feeding it with right food at the right time can surely make it so nice. Treating it right, you can feel their appreciation on the form of their behavior. This is one great characteristics of sugar gliders have that you cannot find on other exotic pets. This small cute marsupial does not eat much, but they have special diet to maintain their healthy life style. Pet owners should include some particular foods on their diet.

Petaurus briceps is the scientific name of this small arboreal marsupial that can be mostly found in the native forest of Australia, New Guinea, including the state islands of Indonesia and Tasmania. Members of the same type of family are the kangaroos, opossums, wombats and Tasmanian devils.

One common characteristic of Sugar gliders can be easily recognized by the extra ordinary thickness of their grayish soft mink that resemble the hair and posses black stripe throughout the body that is inline with their spine. The black stripe is located from the heartht to the tail. Here are some things that you will need to know about the characteristics of sugar gliders.

* The face and the legs of this animal have a dramatic black shades.

* The width of their body is equal to the length of the tail, which commonly measures five to six inches.

* Adult Sugar Glider weighs about four to six ounces, however, males can exceed this proximity because they are much bigger than the female.

* Sugar Glider, like many other marsupials, they also have the pouch were they carry their young’s, that are commonly know as the Joey’s

* In the natural habitat, they are tree dwelling and mostly living in a herd, which is composed of fifteen to thirty members.

* This exotic animal are nocturnal that mainly feed on small vertebrates like insects and plants such as the acacia tree, eucalyptus and the gum tree.

* Sugar gliders can be compared to the flying squirrel because they glide themselves above up to a hundred feet. They glide using their membrane, which is called the patagium and by using their tail, the direction can be control while on the air.

* They posses opposable fingers and toes and the male has a forked penis.

* Their ear moves frequently in other for them to hear even the smallest sounds.

* Ears of this animal are hairless, large and thin.

* Sugar Gliders individually have unique scents that are been recognized by other Sugar Glider. The scent gland of the male is located on the head that appear like a diamond while on the female it is located near the pouch.