The Adorable Baby Feathertail Glider at Australia Zoo

Meet Boop, the tiniest and most adorable baby animal at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors. Boop will surely steal your heart with her sweet and innocent nature. She is truly a little marvel of cuteness.

Boop was found when she weighed less than one gram, having escaped her mother’s pouch. There is no denying that she is the epitome of adorableness. She is currently receiving exceptional care at the wildlife sanctuary, preparing her for her eventual return to the wild.

You might be wondering why they call her a feathertail glider. Well, these creatures have a unique feature – a flat tail that is covered in stiff, fringed hair. The hair grows horizontally on either side, all the way to the tip. This special tail serves as a means of steering and braking as they gracefully move through the trees.

Feathertail gliders are the only mammals known to have feathered tails. Their tails, measuring 7-8 cm long, resemble a bird’s feather. When fully grown, these tiny gliders weigh about 10 to 15 grams. Due to their small size, they can sometimes go unnoticed when in danger, or even be mistaken for a mouse by a curious cat.

In cold weather or during times of food scarcity, these small marsupials enter a state called torpor. In this condition, their respiration becomes sluggish, and they briefly lose consciousness. However, when the weather improves, they regain their usual energetic nature.

The skin fold on a feathertail glider, running from the elbow to the knee, acts as a gliding membrane. They can cover long distances by extending this cleverly designed feature.

Living among the treetops, the feathertail glider feeds on nectar, pollen, and insects. And when it needs to move from one tree to another, it takes to the air by gliding. The glider leaps off the tree with its legs outstretched, and the skin flap between its front and hind foot spreads like a parachute. This helps it glide effortlessly through the air, showcasing its incredible abilities.

Gliding serves as a method for the feathertail glider to stay above ground-dwelling predators and navigate across the treetops. Although they typically glide for around 14 meters, they have been observed to reach distances of up to 28 meters in a single glide. Imagine the thrill of soaring through the air!

Feathertail gliders have unique feet that resemble frog feet. However, their feet are covered in fur instead of scales. The large pads on their toes have grooves underneath, allowing them to climb practically anything. Thanks to the numerous sweat glands on their footpads, these small gliders can even climb vertical glass panes using surface tension – it’s like having tiny suction cups on their feet!

You can find these adorable creatures in eastern Australia, from far north Queensland to South Australia. They can make their homes just about anywhere, lining their nests with leaves, feathers, and shredded wood. This includes repurposing old bird nests and even banana sacks. Their nests are typically spherical, with a diameter of 6-8 cm. They prefer nesting locations such as palm, staghorn, and tree ferns.

Feathertail gliders live in communal groups of 5 to 30 individuals in the northern parts of the country. They reproduce all year round in these regions. In the southern parts, they have a breeding season during the spring, summer, and late winter.

In the wild, feathertail gliders have a lifespan of around four years. Interestingly, both males and females have the same size and appearance, except for the noticeable difference of the female’s pouch.

So if you ever come across a picture or video of a feathertail glider like Boop, it’s easy to understand why these adorable animals are truly wonders of nature.