Australian Mammalogy Australian Mammalogy Society
Journal of the Australian Mammal Society

Direct male parental care observed in wild sugar gliders

Ross L. Goldingay
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School of Environmental Science & Management, Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia. Email:

Australian Mammalogy 32(2) 177-178
Submitted: 6 March 2010  Accepted: 25 May 2010   Published: 15 September 2010


Observations were made of a pair of wild sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) occupying a nest box. When the two young of this pair were ~65 days old, the adult male remained with them within the nest box for at least the first three hours of the night on consecutive nights. This is consistent with the hypothesis that, whilst the mother forages, care from other family members is required to prevent the young becoming hypothermic. This provides the first field evidence of direct male parental care in this species.


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