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Flying Squirrels

Flying squirrels, scientifically known as Pteromyini or Petauristini, are a tribe of 44 species of squirrels. The flying squirrel is not capable of powered flight like birds or bats; instead, they glide between trees. They are capable of obtaining lift within the course of these flights, with flights recorded to 90 meters. The direction and speed of the animal in midair is varied by changing the positions of its two arms and legs, largely controlled by small cartilaginous wrist bones. This changes the tautness of the patagium, a furry parachute-like membrane that stretches from wrist to ankle. It has a fluffy tail that stabilizes in flight. The tail acts as an adjunct airfoil, working as an air brake before landing on a tree trunk.

flying-squirrel Happy Easter Image

INLAND EMPIRE – The San Bernardino, CA flying squirrel, a seldom seen critter, may be in line for protection.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday it will undertake a thorough review of the squirrel’s status and whether it deserves a habitat designation.

The San Bernardino flying squirrel is genetically distinct from its cousin that inhabits Alaska, the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada of Northern California.

Fish and Wildlife’s Jane Hendron says they’ve been spotted in the San Bernardino Mountains. But in Riverside County, “Recent studies have not found the squirrel in the San Jacinto Mountains. It doesn’t mean they’re not there, but they have be very difficult to detect. We believe they are in low numbers, but we don’t have a specific population count.”

Flying squirrels get their name from a membrane that extends from the wrist to the ankle, enabling it to easily glide between trees. (INT)

April 13, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Wild Animals | 3 Comments