Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sugar Glider Diet

This is a poster that I did for a Triad-area presenter who visits schools, churches and other groups to give a lesson about exotic creatures--accompanied by a series of illustrated posters--and then presents the actual animal to the children. The illustration is whimsical, but informative. This one illustrates examples of the typical diet of a sugar glider, a small marsupial mammal native to Australia and Indonesia.

The sugar glider resembles a flying squirrel in that it has extra skin stretching between the arms and legs that fan out to act as gliding "wings" as it leaps from tree to tree, hence the "glider" part of the name. However, sugar gilders are not squirrels but are actually small opossums, of all things!

And like opossums, they are omnivores. They feed on tree sap in their native habitat, but some people keep sugar gliders as pets, much like hamsters. If you are caring for a captive sugar glider, there are a variety of things you can feed your pet, and a varied diet is always best. Sugar gliders can eat fresh fruit and vegetables (raisins are a particular treat for hand-feeding) or prepared foods, such as parrot chow or even cat food. They do not need to be given meat, but be sure they get their protein by feeding them some cooked egg, nuts and seeds, or some yummy crickets or mealworms from the pet store.

Illustration is mine. Click to enlarge!

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