Among the many, many email list-type things flooding my inbox daily are quite a few from Twatter (since Musk took over and cleaned house I’m gonna have to stop referring to it with such disparaging names), which I haven’t long since relegated to the CF Spamme Trappe because I actually enjoy quite a few of them. Sander from the Netherlands, a/k/a Buitengebieden, would be on the list of Twitterers I like.
The landing.. 😊 pic.twitter.com/HLeOokLymv
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden)
HAAA! Good stuff, no? I mean, really now, just look at the grin on that face at the end.
The cute little critter coming home to mama for a perfect three-point landing in her hand is a sugar glider, if I’m not mistaken; being a certified Elly May Clampett-level critter person (DEAD GIVEAWAY ALERT: there’s even a “Critters” category here, has been for a long time), I always did want one of those myself. Can’t recollect ever seeing a snowy-white one before, though. Some info on the li’l beasties, for those who might not know what the hell I’m even talking about here.
The sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) is a small, omnivorous, arboreal, and nocturnal gliding possum. The common name refers to its predilection for sugary foods such as sap and nectar and its ability to glide through the air, much like a flying squirrel. They have very similar habits and appearance to the flying squirrel, despite not being closely related—an example of convergent evolution. The scientific name, Petaurus breviceps, translates from Latin as “short-headed rope-dancer”, a reference to their canopy acrobatics.
The sugar glider is characterised by its pair of gliding membranes, known as patagia, which extend from its forelegs to its hindlegs. Gliding serves as an efficient means of reaching food and evading predators. The animal is covered in soft, pale grey to light brown fur which is countershaded, being lighter in colour on its underside.
The sugar glider is native to a small portion of southeastern Australia, in the regions of southern Queensland and most of New South Wales east of the Great Dividing Range. Members of Petaurus are popular exotic pets and are frequently also referred to as “sugar gliders”, but these are now thought to likely represent another species from West Papua, tentatively classified in Krefft’s glider.
“Short-headed rope-dancer”—gotta love that, it certainly seems apt enough. Here, have yourself another adorable pic:
Oh oh wait, dang it, that’s Elly May. Sorry ‘bout that, folks…maybe. Here’s the one I meant to put in there.
Heh. Ye Olde Colde Furye Blogge: where the smart set goes for all their “cuteness” needs.
Moar adorable update! Another critter I always wanted, but never did get.
Those are African pygmy hedgehogs, comically enjoying one of their favorite pastimes: tubing, they call it. Too, too funny, and totally cute too. (SIDE NOTE: yes, that’s an old toilet-paper-roll tube they’re playing with; they’re known for keeping that up for hours, walking themselves off of tabletops, falling off chair seats and sofas, repeatedly crashing into walls, you name it)
The trouble with keeping exotic pets like gliders and hedgehogs is that they’re costly to keep and maintain, in all sorts of ways. They usually need a great deal of attention and affection; their dietary requirements can be expensive and, well, exotic, thus tough to fulfill; finding a vet for one outside of major urban areas can be extremely difficult, the visits frequent and expensive. Exotics are susceptible to bizarre, unheard-of diseases, for which treatment is both demanding in terms of effort and ruinously expensive.
All in all, then, not the best choice of pet for someone who travels as much as I used to. Hell, just keeping up with two cats, two dogs, and a freshwater aquarium which I successfully kept going for well over ten years (stocked with two clown loaches, an albino shark, an albino cory cat, and a firebelly newt; the pleco I got for algae-control purposes, a tiny thing at first, I finally gave away to a friend when the ugly bastid grew to just over two feet long) was hard enough, thanks.
I thought it was flying squirrel until I read further. Cute little buggers.
Pretty special to have one trained to fly to your hand like that.
Australia’s just crammed full of strange critters. Nice to know that not all of ’em are deadly, and/or mean. 😉
Ain’t it the truth. Good place to start a penal island…