Monday, November 12, 2007

Sugar Gliders Anatomy

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Ears

Glider ears...Like two little radar dishes perched on either side of the head. Glider shave amazing hearing and can often hear things we can not. Don't be surprised if you hear your Glider barking at night, and think they must be crazy because you cant find any good reason for such racket, they might be trying to tell/warn you all about a noise they hear in the distance! :-) (Other barking reasons- wants attention, warnings, hungry, scared). Gliders tell alot with their ears...for instance: Sticking straight up happy/playful/ALERT, cocked in a certain direction - listening intently to a noise comming from a certain direction, layed/slicked back against the head - stealth / or reeeally alert mode, laying down or drooped - sleepy/waking/ill...etc...etc... You gotta' love those little radar dishes perched on their fuzzy little heads! So when you hear them bark in the middle of the night over some noise they hear in the distance, while your trying like mad to catch some Zzzzz's... go whisper to them that you love them and tell them how much you love their little ears. ;-) *If you notice your Glider/s pawing/itching their ears alot, or shaking their head alot, and you also notice tiny white moving flecks in their ears/fur, they may have Mites. A vet can easily diagnose and treat Mites. (If their exhibiting any of the above mentioned behaviors frequently... a Vet check-up might be good. ;-)

Eyes

Those big beautiful deep dark brown eyes...who can resist their bug-eyed look! Gliders have avascular retinae, with only a small residual tuft of fluoresceinimpermeablevessels projecting from the optic disc into the vitreous, suggesting superior night vision.Due to the number of rods and cones in the eye, the Sugar Glider only sees in shades of greys (like an old black & white movie) and the color red. *Eyes should always be bright, sparkly and clear.... There should never be a discharge or they shouldn't look dull. If you notice any change in their eyes...have a vet check it out. (I have heard of several Gliders that are completely blind :-( , due to one reason or another (ie: genetics, diet, accidents...), and they get around just fine, are very happy and healthy, and some even live quite happily with a cagemate and even have little fur-babys of their very own...and they do just fine with life. Gliders really are amazing creatures! These Gliders I hear, have some very special Humans (owners) who take extra special care to make sure their lives are as comfortable and happy as possible, by making their cage/home easy to navigate, by leaving it the same for the most part, so that their blind little buddy can remember where things are. ;-) (they also know too that change is important for stimulation, even if the Glider cant see... so, they change things around...but only a little bit at a time.) In situations like this where the Glider is blind, if treated properly, they dovery well and learn rather quickly to adapt, using all their other senses (smell, taste, touch, sound...)... they can still be very good little friends/petseven though they have a slight handicap! ;-) (Someone once said to me "what would be the use of a blind Glider?"... ???)

Nose

Ahhhhh, the Nose knows.... :-) Gliders have an extremely acute sense of smell, and smells are extremely important to a Glider! A glider will go around marking everything that he/she thinks belongs to them...so that any other Gliders nearby will realize what evers marked is taken...so Stay Away, unless they smell the same! * If you ever notice your Glider has a runny nose or is sneezing frequently (not grooming, but actually sneezing with no grooming) then you might want to get him/her to a vet, especially if their acting ANY differently, it is possible for a Glider to catch a cold.

Teeth & Tongue

The Sugar Glider uses its sharp incisor teeth to gouge holes in trees to expose the sugary sap and uses its tongue to lap nectar from blossoms. The Glider has 40 teeth, and unlike rodents, Gliders teeth do not continue to grow. Gliders are sap suckers by nature. (They will chew/suck the good stuff out of their food and spit out the rest. If you watch them eat, you will see them do this, its perfectly normal. :-)

Lips & Smiles

Ok, I couldn't help it, had to have a lip and smile page. I mean really, have you ever looked at your Glider and thought "My gosh! Would you look at that! Their smiling!" If you have any "smiles" on camera that you'd like to share send them to me!I'd love to put them up for everyone to see! Lips are for KISSING

Fur

Gliders have a beautiful grey coat with dark interesting markings. Their fur is extremely soft and silky feeling (comparable to a Chinchilla or a Bunny Rabbit.) (Gliders do come in a few different coat colors... Blondes, Cinnamons, Platinums (silvery color), & Albinos....) * Gliders do not need to be bathed. They usually do an excellent job of keeping themselves groomed and clean. If for some reason however, your Glider has something in/on the fur that they don't seem to be able to clean, or for some reason there is an accident and your Glider needs to be cleaned, you can take a washcloth or q-tip dipped in comfortably warm water, and gently rub the areas that need cleaning. When your done, make sure you bundle your little Furry friend up in a warm blankie/pouch and pat/rub them dry a little. Keep them warm and cozy until dry! :-)

Tails

A Glider's furry tail helps it balance when gliding and climbing. Its weakly prehensile- meaning it is capable of grasping and carrying nesting materials curled up in its tail. Most Glider tails are equal to or a little longer than the length of their body.

Hands/Feet/Nails

I only trim my little ones nails when I see that they are getting hung up or snagged on something, and then I watch and only trim the nails I see getting snagged/stuck. I figure if the other nails don't getting snagged, then don't worry about it. (If it ain't broke, don't fix it!) I do take a quick look at their nails regularly, just to make sure none are too long. They can get so long that they curl around back into the toe, and can be quite painful for the Glider. Usually I can just give my fuzzys a treat and they will sit still long enough for me to quickly but carefully trim the nail/nails. Sometimes you may have to hold a glider still for few a seconds while you clip the nail/nails, sometimes two people help make it easier, or gently wrapping the Glider in a towel with the head covered, and gently pull out one hand/foot at a time. (make sure and give lots of affection and a treat or two afterwards!)


Trimming Nails

look carefully at the nail. You can see where the quick is...the pink area of the nail. At the very very tip of the nail/nails clip off a tiny bit where its white/clear (I usebaby nail clippers.). Be sure and AVOID cutting into the quick (pink area), it will bepainful and bleed. Its good to have some Styptic Powder (available at most big pet stores,drugstores, etc...) on hand in case you accidentally cut to far and it bleeds. If you do nothave access to Styptic powder, applying flour or mud (from a clean area outside) willwork in an emergency. The point is to stop the bleeding. *If you are afraid to trim the nails yourself, most vets are willing to trim them for a very reasonable price, and they can show you how. This is a good option if the Glider is hard to work with and your afraid to get bit.:-)

Patagium/Gliding Membrane
  1. Leap... The sugar Glider leaps from a branch, thrust by its hind legs. As it does, the gliding membranes spread out to support it.

  2. Glide... By altering the shape and tension of the membranes and angle of its tail, it is able to adjust the flow of air and steer a course.

  3. Swoop... About 10' from its target and a split second before landing on the tree trunk, the Sugar Glider swoops upward to slow down.

  4. Touchdown... It makes a fourpoint landing on the tree trunk, sinking claws into the bark to avoid being bounced off by the forceful impact.

Picture By : hamsteronline.com
Article By : donovanssugargliders.com

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Where did you find the info on the color blindness?