Greater Glider
(Petauroides volans) #64-37

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Physical characteristics and distribution

Volans is the singles species in the genus Petauroides, with a head and body length of 300-480 mm and a tail length of 450-550 mm. Adults weigh between 1.2 and 1.5 kg. Coloration of the soft silky fur ranges from black to gray to creamy white upperparts and light gray or pure white below. White headed or all white individuals are common. The tail is prehensile, completely furred with the exception of the underside of the tip. Females have two mammae and a well developed pouch.

P. volans has recorded glides of 78 meters during which the arms are bent at the elbows positioning the forearms above the head so that the front feet nearly meet at the chest. Tall woodlands and sclerophyll forest are the preferred habitats. Known to travel across open ground at times, this mammal lives most of its life arboreally. It is nocturnal and spends its days in hollows of trees high off the ground. This den is sometimes lined with stripped bark or leaves, transporting the preferred materials in its rolled up tail.

The primary diet of P. volans is the bark, leaves and bud debris of a specific species of Eucalyptus.

Females are polyestrous and produce one young per season. The baby is attached to the nipple for the first six months and after releasing, spends an additional 6 months in the pouch, then another 4 months as a dependent nestling, often travelling on its mother's back. Young are fully independent at 10-13 months and reach sexual maturity at two years. Life span is believed to be about 15 years.

P. volans is found in E Australia, from Dandenong Ranges (Victoria) to Rockhampton (Queensland).

Description of the brain

Animal source and preparation
All specimens collected followed the same preparation and histological procedure.

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