Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Flying Squirrels - Animal Hang Gliders

Despite their name, flying squirrels not actually capable of powered flight. Instead, they use a furry patch of skin between their wrists and ankles as a sort of parachute, allowing them to glide hundreds of feet between trees.
There are 44 species of flying squirrel spread throughout almost every temperate climate in the world. Though habitats vary by species, most can be found in woodland areas where tall trees can help the squirrels avoid ground-based predators.

Unlike ground squirrels and tree squirrels, flying squirrels are almost completely nocturnal. This behavior is one of necessity as they are unable to escape from large birds of prey such as hawks and eagles during the day. However, they are still exposed to predation from several species of owls at night.
Flying squirrels are omnivorous and vary their diet based upon what is available. Common food sources include many types of nuts, fungi and berries as well as small insects and bird eggs. Like all squirrels, flying squirrels do not hibernate and can live in dens of up to 50 individuals during cold winter months, usually in hollowed out trees or abandoned bird nests.

No comments: