Feathertail Glider

The Feathertail Glider (Acrobates pygmaeus), also known as the Pygmy Gliding Possum, is the world’s smallest gliding mammal. It is named for its long feather-shaped tail. Although only the size of a very small mouse 2.56 to 3.15 in and .35 to .49 oz (65 to 80 mm and 10 to 14 g), it can leap and glide long distances from tree to tree. It can glide up to 27 yards (25 meters). Like other gliding mammals, the Feathertail Glider has a skin membrane between the fore and hind legs. It is thicker than that of the other marsupials like the Sugar Glider, but smaller in proportion, extending only between the elbows and knees.

The most obvious feature of the Feathertail Glider is the tail that gives it its name. It is about the same length as the combined head/body, quite thin, moderately prehensile. It is almost hairless except for the two very obvious rows of long, stiff hairs on either side. The tail, when held straight, looks rather like a double-sided comb. It is used to grip twigs and small branches, and to control gliding flight while steering and then braking.

The coat is a uniform mid-grey, with dark patches around the eyes. It often has a white patch behind the ears. The underside is lighter. The ears are moderately large and rounded.

The natural habitat of the Feathertail Glider is the eastern seaboard of Australia. Also, the glider’s distribution is from North-Queensland to Victoria.

The Feathertail Glider’s diet includes nectar, pollen and arthropods.