Sugar gliders are native to Australia and New Guinea. They live in forested areas, and they are named for their ability to leap and glide from tree to tree. Their gliding ability is derived from a flap of skin that connects their front and back legs and acts like a parachute as they fly through the air.
Like kangaroos, sugar gliders are marsupials. They give birth to their young after a very short gestation period and then raise them in pouches of flesh on their abdomens. Sugar gliders are active during the night hours, and their large eyes give them excellent night vision. During the daytime, they retreat to their nests in hollows of trees. Sugar gliders live in small groups of about seven animals.
Sugar gliders are often kept in captivity as pets. They require spacious cages with plenty of toys for entertainment. Branches, ropes and ladders allow them to climb and get exercise. Pet sugar gliders can easily be tamed by their owners. Once bonded to their owners, sugar gliders enjoy being close to people and cuddling in their pockets.
Sugar gliders do have sharp nails, which must be kept well-trimmed to avoid scratches. Although they are not aggressive, sugar gliders do have sharp teeth and sometimes bite when they feel threatened.