(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

The Feathertail Glider, scientific name Acrobates pygmaeus is the smallest gliding mammal on the earth with an average weight of solely 12 g.

Feathertail Glider Profile

The Feathertail Glider is distinguished from different small marsupials by its feather-like tail fringed with long stiff hairs, which acts as a rudder throughout the flight.

A gliding membrane, which extends from its elbows to its knees, permits the animal to glide more than 20 m between bushes. It clings to clean surfaces with its massive serrated toe pads.

The Feathertail Glider is an Australian marsupial. It has brief brown-grey fur. Its tail has long stiff hairs down both sides and resembles a bird’s feather. It is about the identical size as its body.

The glider has a thick membrane between its elbows and knees, which it makes use of to glide. It additionally has serrated pads on its toes that assist it to stick to clean surfaces.

The Feathertail Glider is present in eastern Australia from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia.

The Feathertail Glider is an omnivore and eats nectar, pollen, and bugs.

Feathertail Gliders dwell in teams of 5–25 individuals. Several group members assist to take care of spherical nests of leaves, bark, and fern. Mothers suckle younger that aren’t their very own.

Predatory birds, together with kookaburras and owls, foxes, cats, and reptiles prey on Feathertail Gliders. They are additionally threatened by habitat destruction.

Feathertail Glider

Geographic Range

Restricted to mainland Australia, however, has a large distribution by means of many of the open and closed forests of eastern and south-eastern Australia from Cape York to the southeastern nook of South Australia. Also present in river redgum forests related to inland rivers, notably the Murray River

Habitat

Acrobates pygmaeus is present in a large range of habitats. It has been noticed foraging on the ground, in massive bushes and bushes, and in tall grasses.

Feathertail Gliders have been noticed foraging at heights from ground level to 40 meters above the ground. Height of foraging will depend on species of tree and abundance of meals, however, it’s unbiased of season

Feathertail Glider Description

The range in weight of males is much like that of females, however, typically the males truly weighed more. Head and body size ranges from 65-80mm, and tail size ranges from 70-80mm.

The most notable attribute of A. pygmaeus is the feather-like tail, which no different mammal has. It has molars suggestive of an insectivore, but additionally a brush-tipped tongue typical of a nectar-feeder.

Its massive forwardly directed eyes are for nocturnal binocular vision, and it has massive serrated pads on every toe, which assist in adhesion to clean surfaces. A. pygmaeus has a considerably prehensile tail that gives grip on twigs and small branches.

Feathertail Glider

Food Habits

Most of the feeding behavior of this species takes place in eucalypts. They search below free bark and glean foliage.

The looking out of free bark means that the animal feeds on honeydew and arthropods, whereas the foliage gleaning is suggestive of feeding on manna, honeydew, lerps, and arthropods.

Nectar feeding has been seen however is alleged to solely hardly ever happen.

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Feathertail Glider Behavior

The Pygmy Glider is generally energetic at night besides when rearing younger. Then the feminine is seen to emerge to feed or drink through the late afternoon.

Groups of A. pygmaeus have been noticed in virtually any accessible enclosed house, from hole tree trunks to phone interchange bins to bird nests or possum dreys.

They type spherical nests (dreys) of vegetation, normally eucalypt leaves, bark, and tree-fern fiber. They have been present in teams of as much as 20 people, however, these will not be thought-about stable associations.

It is believed that communication between mom and younger is thru plenty of high-frequency sounds and marking with urine.

Feeding in teams is usually noticed in captivity, but it surely has been seen within the wild solely as soon as. A. pygmaeus undergoes multiday torpor bouts, reducing its body temperature to about 2 degrees Celcius.

This is totally different from deep hibernation. There is not any prehibernation fattening and plainly extended torpor is used solely in emergency conditions

Feathertail Glider

Feathertail Glider Reproduction

In southeastern Australia, the species breeds from July to January, and females normally produce two litters inside this time. The second litter is conceived at post-partum oestrus and undergoes an interval of embryonic diapause.

Males exhibit enlarged testes and epididymides at the start of the breeding season, however present a decline through the season.

There could also be 4 or more pouch younger however the quantity seldom exceeds the variety of teats, which is 4. Pouch life lasts about 9 weeks, which is long for a marsupial of this size, however, the stage of improvement is much like different marsupials at the time of pouch exit.

On average, about one younger is lost from every litter throughout lactation. Reduction in litter sizes could also be a result of the feminine matching price of lactation with ranges of sources accessible.

At the time of weaning, people are massive and should proceed to affiliate with their moms, nevertheless, 90% of each sex disappears from the inhabitants, both by means of dispersal or mortality, before they attain maturity.

Feathertail Glider

Conservation Status

Acrobates pygmaeus is alleged to be frequent in its geographic range and particular person habitats.

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