Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Colugos - Flying Lemurs

Commonly referred to as flying lemurs, colugos are gliding mammals found in Southeast Asia. They are not actually true lemurs, and unlike bats cannot truly fly. However, colugos are the most skilled fliers of all gliding mammals, capable of controlled flights of over 300 feet with little loss of altitude. In other words, they could leap from goalpost to goalpost on a football field!

Like flying squirrels, colugos rely on the large membranes of skin that extend between their limbs to provide lift. While this makes these 4lb mammals capable gliders, they are relatively helpless on the ground, cannot stand upright, and do not have strong limbs for walking. Therefore, colugos spend their days resting in trees, only gliding through the forest canopy at night in search of leaves to snack on.

No comments: