Sugar Glider Vet - The Veterinarian's Sugar Glider Resource
Petaurus breviceps, or sugar gliders, are a native of Australia and New Zealand.  These small marsupials have become increasingly popular as an exotic pet, but they have some unique characteristics which make them a poor pet choice for some homes.
Anatomy andPhysiology
  • average weight is 75-150 grams
  • average body length is 5-7 inches; tail length averages 6-9 inches
  • teeth do not continually grow
  • semi-prehensile tail; cannot support body weight or hang by tail
  • patagium (gliding membrane) stretches between front and back legs
  • heart rate is 200-300 beats per minute
  • respiratory rate is 16-40 breaths per minute
  • reach sexual maturity as early as 4 months
  • estrous cycle is 29 days
  • emerge from pouch at approximately 70 days
  • weaned at 110-120 days
  • litter size is normally 1 or 2
  • lifespan is potentially 10-15 years (in captivity, with best practices), but averages 4.6 years. 
    Nature and Lifestyle
    • nocturnal
    • arboreal
    • social; live in colonies ranging from 2-12 members
    • territorial; will fight to the death to defend their colony
    • prey animal; will mask any signs of illness or injury for as long as possible
    Temperament and Behavior
    • each glider has its own unique personality; interaction with their human family will vary with each glider
    • can bite and scratch
    • will mark their environment, cage mates and human family by rubbing their head and/or chest on the item, animal or person
    • will urinate and defecate indiscriminately
    • very active; require enrichment items such as toys and running wheels and large cages; need out of cage time nightly in a glider safe area (glider-proofed room or tent)
    • vocalizations range from soft clicking sound to loud crabbing (resemble electric pencil sharpener)
    • can self-mutilate (chew on themselves) if in pain; can cause serious injury or death
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