Southern Flying Squirrel

Southern Flying

Squirrels

Glaucomys volans

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DESCRIPTION

They call me a Flying Squirrel, but that’s not exactly correct. In fact I don’t fly but I glide! And it’s thanks to a special membrane of skin called the patagium. This membrane goes from my wrists to my heels just like a bat. I use my tail to steer and to land softly. I can make 90 and even 180 degree turns in flight – quite useful for going from one tree to another. I am the smallest of the squirrel family, but unlike my cousins, I prefer to be active at night. My big black eyes provide great night vision.

I don’t hibernate, but I share my nest with others of my species to protect myself from the cold. Nothing like a bunch of warm bodies huddled together! I will sometimes raid bird feeders during  the cold season to get an easy meal. That is when you are likely to see me because I am otherwise quite shy. 

Location

Southern Flying Squirrel

Caracteristics

dimension

Total Length 20,7 - 25,2 cm
Tail length 8,5 – 11,5 cm
Weight 49,4 – 81,4 g

Lifespan

10 years average in captivity; the record is 12 years. Rarely exceed 6 years in the wild

Habitat

Mature forests, forested regions rich in nut and grain production

Diet

Nuts, grains, mushrooms, insects, eggs, hatchlings

Reproduction

1 to 2 litters per year, from 2 to 7 young (average of 4)

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