The sugar glider is a marsupial about the size of a hamster, and they were originally from Australia and Indonesia. They get their name from the fact that they eat the sweet sap from the trees they live in and, of course, they can glide from tree to tree using their patagium, a membrane that extends from their fingers to their toes. These little guys are exceptionally cute and cuddly, which is what initially draws people to them. They have needs that are probably in excess of your average hamster, however, so beware before you commit yourself.
Sugar gliders can live up to 15 years when kept as pets, and they are extremely social creatures. Most glider owners keep at least a pair of them around as they love to interact with their own kind as well as their human owners. Like hamsters, they will live out most of their lives in a cage, the larger the better. They are omnivorous, which is good for you, the owner, as they will eat just about anything. Sugar gliders are also nocturnal creatures, meaning they like to sleep most of the day and come out to hunt and play at night.
Being an exotic pet, you need to be careful about the legality of sugar gliders in your area or state. A few states in the U.S., for example, do not allow the keeping of gliders as personal pets or require at least a permit.
These guys are a bundle of fun, but do realize that they require more care and attention than your typical guinea pig or hamster, and as such, they’re not really for the kids. Given the appropriate care, however, they will provide you with a many years of fun and companionship.