Flying Squirrel

A Tropical Rainforest Animal

What is it?

The 'flying squirrel' is a group consisting of 44 species of squirrels. Their scientific classification is Pteromyini. It lives in tropical and temperate rainforests across Asia, Europe, and North and South America, and can glide 200 feet at a time.

Where in the TRF does it live?

Flying squirrels reside in the canopies of rainforests, staying above ground level most of the time and gliding from branch to branch. They rarely descend to the forest floor.

What does it eat?

Its diet consists of nuts, fruits, buds, insects, small birds, small eggs and acorns. All of these things can be found in the canopy, which could be a major reason as to why they remain up there most of the time. Fruits are fresher in the canopy, and bird nests can be found in the branches.

Facts about Flying Squirrels

  • Some of their predators include hawks, owls and eagles.
  • It is a nocturnal rodent.
  • They have a lifespan of around 12 years.
  • They don't fly - they glide.
  • They're very sociable with other flying squirrels.
  • They have large eyes, soft fur and a long, flat tail.
  • It rests in tree hollows.
  • When they glide, they finish lower than they started.

How has it adapted to live in the rainforest?

Flying squirrels have adapted to live in the rainforests by using their skin as a parachute to glide through the canopy, thus avoiding the forest floor and saving themselves from new predators. They are nocturnal so their owl predators will not be able to pick them off while they sleep, as owls hunt at night. Their diet consists of foods that can all be found in the canopy, so they don't have to visit the ground level.