26 Nov Unusual Animal of the Week: Petauristini, the Flying Squirrel
Rocket J. Squirrel is real!
Wait, no, that can’t be. But there is such a thing as a petauristini, otherwise known as the flying squirrel! Just don’t expect it to talk to a moose.
While its name might make you think it really can fly, the flying squirrel doesn’t. It actually glides. This means that this bizarre animal cannot propel itself into flight, but can only change speed and direction once it is already in midair.
How can they do that? The flying squirrel has a membrane that resembles wings when its arms are fully extended, allowing it to move and guide itself through the air. Those nifty human glider suits are actually based off of the natural design of the flying squirrel!
Flying squirrels are typically nocturnal, allowing them to hide more easily from predators, which include: cats, snakes, owls, and coyotes. They also use the darkness to forage for food, typically relying on their sense of smell to find what they need.