Introduction to ecosystems
Introduction to ecosystems

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Introduction to ecosystems

2.4.2 Flying squirrels

Flying squirrels are not closely related to the colugos but they have features in common. You have seen squirrels and read about the colugo. As you watch the video, think about how flying squirrels steer during their glides. Note the advantages of the gliding habit.

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The similarities between colugos and flying squirrels

CHRIS PACKHAM: The best time to see them is in the first couple of hours after dark. What I'm hoping is that if I stand here and stay really quiet, I'll be in for a real treat. It's a creature I've waited all my life to see, but they move so fast.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Oh, did you see that? That was amazing. Went right past my face. Flying squirrel.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

They really are expert gliders - they can glide for up to 200 metres.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with things that were not meant to fly - flying fish, flying frogs, flying lizards, flying squirrels - and this is the first time I've ever seen them. It was worth a 45-year wait, honestly.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Ah, did you? Ah, did you see that? I felt it, it went right through my hair, seriously, centre parting. It was like having a sheet of A4 coming right at my face. And as soon as they hit the tree, they are running - and up they go.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

They're just crisscrossing all the trees. And they immediately scamper up to the top and then take off and glide again. And sometimes, I've noticed, they can even change direction during flight.

[MUSIC PLAYING] Ah, hit me in the chest. It doesn't come better than that, does it?

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Figure 7 Flying squirrel

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