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Ringtail and Greater Gliding Possums: Pseudocheiridae

Greater Glider (petauroides Volans): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: The greater glider is one of the largest of the gliding possums, with lengths that range between 35 and 41 inches (90 and 105 centimeters). They weigh between 2 and 3.8 pounds (0.9 and 1.7 kilograms). Their fur is dark brown on most of the body except the underside, which is white. They have a long bushy tail that allows them to turn in mid-air and a gliding membrane that runs from their elbows to their ankles and acts as a parasail.

Geographic range: Greater gliders are found in eastern Australia.

Habitat: Greater gliders live in the both dry and wet forests, but not rainforests.

The greater glider is one of the largest gliding possums. This possum feeds in the trees at night. (© B. G. Thomson/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission..)

Diet: Greater gliders are herbivores. Their primary food is the leaves of trees and some parts of other plants.

Behavior and reproduction: Greater gliders are able to glide for distances up to 330 feet (100 meters) and even make 90 degree turns while in the air by using their tail like a rudder. The female gives birth to one young each year between March and June. The young stay in their mother's pouch for 120 days, after which they ride on their mother's back for three more months.

Greater gliders and people: Greater gliders have no known importance for people.

Conservation status: Greater gliders are classified as Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsRingtail and Greater Gliding Possums: Pseudocheiridae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Ringtail And Greater Gliding Possums And People, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT