Greater glider

Petauroides volans

TAXONOMY

Petauroides volans (Kerr, 1792), Sydney, Australia. Two subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Phalanger volant geant; German: Riesengleitbeutler.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS Length 35.4-41.3 in (90-105 cm), weight 31.7-60.0 oz (900-1,700 g). Dark brown body with white underside. Gliding membrane from elbow to ankles. Long bushy tail.

DISTRIBUTION

Eastern Australia.

HABITAT

Sclerophyll forests, dry and wet, but no rainforest.

BEHAVIOR

Gliding for up to 330 ft (100 m), capable of mid-glide turns (by using tail as a rudder) of up to 90°; as gliding membrane is only

from elbow, wrists are not extended but tucked under chin in flight. Solitary home range of males and females may overlap.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Folivore, only very limited amount of other plant parts. REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

One young per year is born between March and June, stays in the pouch for 120 days, rides on mother's back for another three months. Usually monogamous.

CONSERVATION STATUS Vulnerable.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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