While studying the impact of the tragic Australian bushfires on wildlife, researchers have discovered a surprising piece of good news: there are two new species of “gliders” on the scene in Australia.

Gliders are small marsupials that can jump incredibly far distances. Membranes in the creature’s limbs allow it to glide while in the air.

The two new species of gliders have been genetically determined as different from their fellow glider-counterparts. The main differences are in body mass, as certain species are larger than others.

As reported in The Science Times:

Scientists described the two species in the journal Scientific Reports. Greater gliders have been generally identified as Petauroides volans. P. v. minor and P. v. volans has been listed as subspecies based on their body size, fur color, and geographic distribution.

For the first time, researchers confirm genetic evidence of three distinct P. Volans species, resurrecting the subspecies name P. armillatus first described in 1923. The two greater glider species P. minor and P. armillatus have been controversial due to the lack of published evidence.”

You can read the full article in The Science Times here.

Author

  • Adam Houser coordinates student leaders for CFACT's collegians program and writes on issues of climate and energy.