WHAT IS SUGAR GLIDER?
A Sugar Glider is a small marsupial possum found in Australia, Tasmania, Indonesia, and Papua-New Guinea. The terms possum and opossum are not the same. To refer to and American opossum as a possum, is shortening its real name. To refer to an Australian possum as an opossum is incorrect. The o has been dropped from the Australian possum's name to make a distinction between two very different groups of marsupials. Sugar gliders are marsupials. Marsupials include kangaroos, koalas, sugar gliders, wallabies, and wombats. Each has its own niche in the environment. Mammals are described as warm blooded, fur bearing animals that nurse their young. Mammals gestate their young placentally. Marsupials differ in that there is little or no placental gestation. Marsupial offspring are born shortly after gestation. Therefore, newborn marsupials are poorly developed and extremely tiny. Once inside the pouch, the baby marsupial, or "joey", finds a mammary gland. By the time the joey is ready to emerge from the pouch, it is at a stage similar to that of some mammals at birth.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SUGAR GLIDER
Sugar gliders make endearing, playful, and entertaining pets. As mentioned above they are very social, and ideally they should be kept in pairs or groups, and in any case they should have a good deal of social interaction with their owners. They are fairly clean and do not have complex housing requirements. In addition, they tend to be fairly healthy (although it may be difficult to find an experienced vet to treat them) and can live to be 12-14 years in captivity. They do need a good amount of interaction (even if it is just riding around in a pocket all day), and aren't great housetraining candidates. Their nails are sharp and will scratch if they need to dig in while climbing or landing on you (keep them well trimmed). They also have sharp teeth and though not aggressive, will bite if they feel threatened or frightened. If not acquired tame and used to being handled, it may take a great deal of time and patience to get them to the point where they are cuddly.