Fun Squirrel Glider Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Squirrel Glider Facts For Kids

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Get ready to learn all about the squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis)! Like many other marsupials, the squirrel glider is also endemic to Australia, and its range stretches through eastern Queensland, Victoria, the Great Dividing Range, eastern New South Wales, and southeast South Australia. This small gliding possum's diet mainly consists of pollen and nectar, along with different insects and tree saps. Its body is covered in gray fur with distinct markings that make it look like a squirrel.

During the day, it rests in tree hollows while it looks for food at night. It also has a bushy tail to grab onto things. Fortunately, the population distribution of the species is quite good, and it is listed as a species of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. However, habitat fragmentation and the presence of feral cats in their habitat have made their life quite hard. Keep reading to find more squirrel glider facts. Also, check out these articles on the Japanese giant flying squirrel and the red and white giant flying squirrel.

Fun Squirrel Glider Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

6.7-10.5 oz (190-300 g)

How long are they?

7-9 in (18-23 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Blue-gray and brown-gray

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Predators, Barbed Wire Fences

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Woodlands, Dry Sclerophyll Forest, Eucalyptus Forest











Squirrel Glider Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a squirrel glider?

Squirrel gliders are a type of gliding possum and a species of wrist-winged gliders.

What class of animal does a squirrel glider belong to?

The squirrel glider belongs to the class Mammalia and to the genus Petaurus. It also belongs to the infraclass Marsupialia that contains animals like kangaroos.

How many squirrel gliders are there in the world?

The squirrel glider's population is patchily distributed in its native area, hence it is hard to find the exact number of individuals that are present.

Where does a squirrel glider live?

The squirrel glider is one of the native mammals of Australia and it is mainly found in areas across eastern Queensland, Victoria, eastern New South Wales, and southeast South Australia. Populations are also seen in the Great Dividing Range.

What is a squirrel glider's habitat?

The habitat of these Australian mammals may change according to their location. Populations living in southeastern Australia are mainly found living in a dry sclerophyll forest or woodlands. However, those in Queensland prefer the wetter environment present in a eucalyptus forest. These animals prefer to live in areas covered with trees and are rarely seen on the ground. Habitat loss has been one of the reasons behind the decline of the squirrel glider population, as it restricts the movement of the species.

Who do squirrel gliders live with?

Squirrel gliders prefer to live in small groups of between two and 10 individuals. These groups usually consist of one male, multiple females, and their offspring from the season. As a nocturnal species, it usually forages for food during the night. Tree hollows are their preferred shelters, as well as the places where their nests are made.

How long does a squirrel glider live?

The average lifespan of this animal is between four and six years, however, in some cases, this Australian mammal has managed to live for 11 years.

How do they reproduce?

One of the fascinating things about marsupials is their process of reproduction. The breeding season for squirrel gliders is in June and July. Females will have a pronounced pouch during the breeding season that will help to carry the babies. After a short gestation period of three weeks, one to two joeys are born. The joeys are present in the pouch for about 70 days. There are four nipples in the pouch of female squirrel gliders. Between 40-50 more days are spent in the nest created in tree hollows before the joeys are ready to enter the world. In total, around 110-120 days are needed for the joeys to forage and explore the world independently.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the squirrel glider is placed under the classification of Least Concern. However, the population is gradually decreasing, mainly threatened by acute habitat loss along with the fragmentation of their habitats. However, the squirrel glider hasn't become an Endangered species yet.

Squirrel Glider Fun Facts

What do squirrel gliders look like?

Squirrel gliders do look like squirrels because of their grayish-brown color, but this animal is not actually a squirrel. You shouldn't confuse them with sugar gliders, even though both animals are from the same genus as they are two separate species. One of the major differences between sugar gliders and squirrel gliders is their size, as the latter can be twice as large as the former. Even the tail of a squirrel glider is much bushier than that of a sugar glider.

Moreover, squirrel gliders have long faces with visible facial markings. The species is usually covered in pale gray fur on its back which may also be brown-gray or blue-gray. Dark stripes are also present on its dorsal side. The bushy tail of squirrel gliders helps them hold onto things. Its gliding phenomenon comes from the membrane that joins the forefoot and the ankle of the hind legs, helping it to jump from one tree to the next.

Squirrel enthusiasts would love squirrel glider facts.

How do they communicate?

Threatening calls are some of the most common communication that takes place among squirrel gliders. Apart from that, these animals are also able to produce a nasal grunt and short gurgles while communicating with their mates and other squirrel gliders. Like other gliders, squirrel gliders also seem to have scent glands that they use to mark territories.

How big is a squirrel glider?

A squirrel glider's average body length range is around 7-9 in (18-23 cm). Apart from the head and body length, the tail alone can measure around 8.6-13 in (22–33 cm). Compared to this, a red squirrel usually has a body size range of 11-14 in (28-35 cm), making it slightly larger.

How fast can a squirrel glider move?

We are yet to know about the squirrel glider's speed. Rather than running on the ground, this Australian animal prefers to glide from one tree to another using the membrane that joins its forelegs to its hind legs.

How much does a squirrel glider weigh?

The average body weight range of squirrel gliders is around 6.7-10.5 oz (190-300 g). It has an extremely lightweight body that allows it to remain buoyant in the air while performing its glide.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no distinct names for male and female squirrel gliders. However, in the case of squirrels, males are called boars, while females are known as sows. An easy way to tell male and female squirrel gliders apart is through the pouch present in the females.

What would you call a baby squirrel glider?

A baby squirrel glider is known as a joey.

What do they eat?

Squirrel gliders love trees, and they specifically choose to stay in areas where tree sap is available as it makes up a major part of their diet. It is known for feeding on acacia gum as well as gum from the eucalyptus tree. These gliders will also feed on nectar and pollen when it's available. As it has an omnivorous diet, insects like beetles and caterpillars are also consumed. Seeds from the golden wattle tree are also included in their diet. Some other tree species chosen by these squirrels include yellow gum, white box, and red or mugga ironbark. Their predators include owls, pythons, quolls, goannas, cats, dogs, and foxes.

Are they dangerous?

No, this isn't a dangerous animal.

Would they make a good pet?

The squirrel glider is only endemic to certain parts of Australia and it is protected under the country's wildlife laws, making it illegal to keep these gliders as a pet.

Did you know...

In the scientific name of squirrel gliders, the word 'norfolcensis' stands for the Norfolk Island rope dancer, but this Australian mammal has no living population in Norfolk Island.

It takes almost a year after birth for young squirrel gliders to reach sexual maturity.

Squirrel gliders can often be attacked and eaten by feral cats, owls, and foxes.

Different types of squirrel gliders

Currently, there is only one known species of squirrel gliders. However, its ability to hold things with a tail is similar to that of the ringtail possum.

How far and fast can they glide?

The squirrel glider can easily jump at a distance of 164 ft (50 m) from one foot to another. When there is a slope, these animals can manage to achieve a jump at the height of about 328 ft (100 m). We are yet to know their exact speed while gliding.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our pine marten facts and brown rat facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable squirrel glider coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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