Thinking about

Comments

Transcription

Thinking about
Welcome to
Sugar Glider
“ANATOMY
101”!
The following is a basic breakdown of
everything a new “mom” or “dad” needs to know
about Sugar Glider Anatomy ☺
- Eyes - Ears
- Fur
- Nose - Tail
- Hands
- Mouth
- “Wings”
- Female Anatomy - Male Anatomy
- Growth Stages
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
EYES:
The eyes of a Sugar Glider are large and protrude from
each side of the head. This gives them an extremely large
field of vision.
As nocturnal animals by nature, they have excellent
night vision. Although their eyes look black in color,
they are actually a dark brown.
Due to the number of rods and cones in their eyes, it
is believed that Sugar Gliders see in only shades of
gray – and the color red. They can excrete a whitemilky substance from their tear ducts to help them
with grooming.
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
EARS:
The ears of a Sugar Glider are velvety-soft and
relatively large compared to the rest of its head.
Each ear (pinna) can move independently – like a
“radar dish” – allowing the animal to quickly identify
the source of even the slightest sound.
When bonded properly, Sugar Gliders will
recognize their owner’s voices and exhibit similar
intelligence to many cats & dogs.
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
FUR:
A Sugar Glider’s fur is short, dense and extremely
soft. They regularly groom themselves and others
in their “colony”; keeping each other impeccably
clean.
The standard color is platinum gray with a black stripe
running along the length of its body. Generally
speaking, the female’s dorsal stripe is usually thinner
than the male’s. The underside of both genders is
typically a light-cream color.
Over the years, several rare and beautiful color
variations have been domestically bred; ranging in
price from a few hundred - to several thousand
dollars. When considering the purchase of an
“exotic color”, be extremely careful to only work with
a USDA licensed breeder who can provide a written
certificate of health and lineage.
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
HANDS:
One of the most interesting things
about Sugar Gliders in general is
that they don’t have “feet”. Instead
they have 4 little hands, which are
much like ours.
Each hand has 4 fingers and an
opposable thumb – just like humans.
This makes it easy to grasp and hold
onto things. Each finger has a sharp
claw which allows it to “cling –
almost like Velcro – wherever it
lands.
The lower hands are especially
interesting, in that the 2nd and
3rd fingers are partially fused
together (Syndactylous). This
acts like a “comb” when
grooming themselves. In
addition, each lower hand has
a large, padded “thumb”,
(known as the hallux), which is
used for gripping and holding
onto branches.
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
NOSE:
Sugar Gliders have a highly developed
sense of smell. This is used to help
them find food, sense predators, and
also recognize other members of their
“family”.
As babies (Joeys), they primarily use
smell to identify and “bond” with their
family.
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
MOUTH:
Sugar Gliders are “diprodonts” – meaning that
they have two upper front teeth – and two
much longer lower incisors that point forward.
In the wild, they use their teeth to “scoop out”
fruit and pry open tree bark to access sap and
insects.
Unlike rodents, a Sugar Glider’s teeth do NOT constantly grow. Since they don’t instinctively
need to chew on things, they aren’t “destructive” by nature. A Sugar Glider’s teeth should
never be “ground-down” or “clipped”.
Sugar Gliders have a long tongue. In addition to
being used regularly for cleaning and grooming,
it’s primary purpose is to lick things like juice,
water and other sweet things. Sugar gliders
often “suck” the liquids out of their fruits &
veggies; spitting out the remainder in small halfmoon shaped chunks.
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
TAIL:
Sugar Gliders have a “semi-prehensile” tail –
meaning that they can carry lightweight
objects with it (like twigs, leaves, etc..), but
they cannot hang from it like a monkey.
The tail is approximately half their body
length – usually about 6 inches fully-grown and is used primarily as a steering
mechanism (ie. rudder) to guide them while
gliding through the air. Never hold a sugar
glider by its tail
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
“WINGS”:
Similar to a flying squirrel, Sugar Gliders
have a thin flap of furry skin that
stretches from their wrists to their ankles
– called a Patagium. They also have
tiny webbing between their fingers.
In flight, this skin spreads out into a rectangular
shape – basically transforming them into a tiny
“kite”. When not gliding, this extra skin “retracts”
up against their body, and looks like a rippled
dark line along its sides.
Sugar Gliders are extremely intelligent
“aviators”, in that they can accurately
triangulate distances and glide-ratios by
“bobbing” their head from side-to-side
just before launching. Once in the air,
they “steer” themselves to their target by
tilting their hands & arms, adjusting
tension in their “wings”, and using their
tail as a rudder.
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
MALE ANATOMY:
Male Sugar Gliders have several distinctive features as
they begin to mature. The first is a large testicle sac
(sometimes referred to as the “pom-pom”). The testicles
are attached to the main body by a single “chord” which
contains no nerve endings. This makes the neutering
process very simple and virtually painless to the animal.
When an un-neutered male
begins to reach sexual maturity
(approx. 6-8 months), it will
develop two noticeable scent
glands. The first is a diamondshaped a “bald spot” on its
forehead - and the second is a
similar, smaller spot in the center
of their chest. The reason these
areas appear to be “bald” is that
the oils secreted by these glands
mats down their fur and often has
a “crusty” appearance.
Unlike other mammals which have separate
rear “openings” for pooping, peeing, and
reproducing - Sugar Gliders use the same
area at the base of their tail for all three.
Males will sometimes experience an
extended penis, which looks similar to a pink
“worm” extending from their rectum. If you
experience this, don’t worry, it will retract on
its own after a few days. Males also have a
“birfurcated” penis, meaning that the end has
two distinct “branches”.
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
FEMALE ANATOMY:
Female Sugar Gliders have a pouch
where they carry their young – similar to a
Kangaroo. .
It is located in roughly the same area where you would
expect to see a “belly button” on other mammals. .
Female Sugar Gliders will “cycle” twice a year,
and there are normally no outward signs of it.
When babies are born (usually one or two at a
time), they are about the size of a grain of rice.
Upon being born, they crawl into the pouch and
“attach” themselves one of their mother’s 4
nipples for approximately 8 weeks.
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
GROWTH STAGES:
When baby Sugar Gliders (Joeys) are born, they are about the
size of a grain of rice. Upon giving birth, the baby will crawl
into the pouch and attach itself to one of the mother’s 4
nipples. .
Joeys are usually born in “litters” consisting of 1 or 2
babies. They will remain in the pouch and attached
to the nipple for about 8-10 weeks.
Once the Joeys begin exploring outside the pouch, it
will usually be another 6-8 weeks before they are fullyweaned and ready to leave their parents.
NOTE: Baby Gliders are much like human children
in that it’s impossible to judge their age by their
weight. With human infants, newborns can range from
a couple pounds –to 12lbs or more. Joeys are the
same way – and can often weigh 3-4 times as much as
other babies their same age.
The following is a week-by-week “photo album” of “Tinkerbell”,
a baby Sugar Glider as she grows up
and prepares to go out on her own!.. ☺
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
WEEK #1:
Size: 8-18 grams
Distinguishing Characteristics:
No fur, eyes closed.
WEEK #2:
Size: 12-22 grams
Distinguishing Characteristics:
No fur, eyes closed.
WEEK #3:
Size: 17-29 grams
Distinguishing Characteristics:
Eyes open, fine fur beginning.
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
WEEK #4:
Size: 18-35 grams
Distinguishing Characteristics:
Fur becoming more prominent. Tail starting
to fluff out.
WEEK #5:
Size: 19-39 grams
Distinguishing Characteristics:
Complete fur coverage. Tail continuing
to fluff out.
WEEK #6:
Size: 20-45 grams
Distinguishing Characteristics:
Tail fully-fluffed out. Ears perky.
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.
WEEK #7:
Size: 21-60 grams
Distinguishing Characteristics:
Fully-furred. Active at night.
WEEK #8:
Size: 23-75 grams
Distinguishing Characteristics:
Very active at night. Self-sufficient.
TIME TO HEAD OUT INTO THE “REAL WORLD”!
© 2007 GRE, Inc. – All Rights Reserved. Characters used with permission.