Fly­ing squirre l s

Fly­ing squir­rels take on ex­treme jumps

World of Animals - - Defying Gravity -

These glid­ing mam­mals can span dis­tances more than 100 times their own body length. Cov­er­ing up to around 76 me­tres (249.3 feet) in a sin­gle flight, south­ern fly­ing squir­rels ac­cel­er­ate down and for­wards by tilt­ing their head and ‘wings’. The flaps of skin along each side are known as the pata­gia, which are pulled taut in the air. Its sharply an­gled po­si­tion­ing en­ables these an­i­mals to per­form much steeper dives than other glid­ing crea­tures.

This species looks be­fore it leaps, mov­ing the head from side to side to de­ter­mine the dis­tance it is about to glide. This is not an ex­am­ple of true flight as the an­i­mal only de­creases in al­ti­tude, but it is re­mark­able none­the­less.

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