Cute comes in all shapes and sizes.
The Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors’ tiniest inhabitant is a baby feathertail glider named Boop.
Nothing compares to the adorableness of a baby animal named Boop.
The tiny animal was recovered after falling out of her mother’s pouch and weighing less than one gram.
Before Boop is released back into the wild, the wildlife refuge is ensuring that she receives the finest possible care.
These beautiful local animals are named from their unique tail, which is flat and covered in stiff fringed hair that grows horizontally on either side all the way to the tip. As they glide through the trees, the tail is utilized to guide and brake.
They are the only mammal with a tail that resembles a feather. The tail is 7-8cm long and shaped like a bird’s feather.
Because an adult weighs just 10-15 grams, this small glider is sometimes overlooked when it gets into danger, or mistaken for a mouse when the cat brings it in, which is how WIRES gets involved.
Feathertail gliders are linked to Pygmy possums and belong to the Burramyidae family. Because of their small size, these tiny mammals have problems remaining warm when it is cold or when there is a scarcity of food, and, like the Sugar glider, they enter a state known as torpor.
This means that their respiration slows down and the animal becomes unresponsive for a brief period of time, and their body temperature drops to near that of their surroundings. This is not to be confused with hibernation, which lasts far longer and is not known to happen in marsupials.
Above the waist, the fur is grey/brown, with a light cream to the white abdomen. The gliding membrane is a skin fold that spans from the elbow to the knee in Feathertail gliders, as it is in all gliders. The body surface is enlarged by fringed with long hair along the edge. The glider, like a falling leaf, may drift vast distances when stretched out. It lives in the trees and feeds on insects, pollen, and nectar. When it wants to go from one tree to the next, it takes to the air.
They leap from the tree with their legs outstretched, the flap of skin between their front and back feet stretching like a parachute. This little possum’s flattened tail aids in gliding, steering, braking, and anchoring on landing.
They usually glide for 14 meters but have been observed to go up to 28 meters. They can glide as many as five times every hour. The Feathertail glider uses gliding to keep above the treetops, where they can evade larger, ground-dwelling predators.
The enormous pads on the toes, which have serrated groves underneath, allow them to climb just about anything, and the feet resemble those of a frog only with fur. In reality, several sweat glands on the footpads create enough surface tension for this tiny glider to ascend even vertical glass panes using surface tension like mini suction cups.
They can be found from South Australia to far north Queensland in eastern Australia.
These gliders cover their nests with leaves, feathers, and shredded bark and build them in anything from abandoned bird’s nests to banana bags. The nest is spherical with a diameter of 6-8cm. Palms, staghorn, and tree ferns are common nesting sites.
They live in communal groups of 5 to 30 individuals and reproduce all year in the northern sections of the country, and spring, summer, and late winter in the south.
In the wild, they have a four-year lifespan. The size and look of both sexes are nearly identical, with the exception of the female’s pouch.