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Sugar Glider - Sylmar, California | by xgarry
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Sugar Glider - Sylmar, California

A sugar glider has a squirrel-like body with a long partially[9] prehensile tail. The males are larger than the females, and their length from the nose to the tip of the tail is about 24 to 30 cm (12–13 inches, the body itself is approx. 5–6 inches). A sugar glider has a thick, soft fur coat that is usually blue-grey; some have been known to be yellow, tan, or albino. A black stripe is seen from its nose to midway of its back. Its belly, throat, and chest is a cream color.[6]


It has five digits on each foot, each having a claw, except for the opposable toe on the hindfeet. Also on the hindfeet, the second and third digits are partially syndactylous (fused) together to form a grooming comb.[10] Its most striking feature is the patagium, or membrane, that extends from the fifth finger to the first toe. When legs are stretched out, this membrane allows it to glide distances of 50–150 meters. This gliding is regulated by changing the curvature of the membrane or moving the legs and tail.[11]


Another feature are the scent glands, located on the frontal (forehead), sternal (chest), and paracloacal (cloaca). These are used for marking purposes, mainly for the males. The frontal is easily seen on adult males as a bald spot. The male also has a bifurcated (two shafts) penis. The female has a marsupium (pouch) in the middle of her abdomen to carry offspring.[10]


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Taken on September 14, 2011