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Southern Flying Squirrel

Range:

Eastern half of the United States

Habitat:

Forests and wooded areas; prefers seed producing hardwoods

Characteristics:

Coats are soft, silky pale olive brown. Tail is grey with very dense hair. Eyes are large and black. Wide folds of skin extend down each side of body between the wrists and ankles. The fur is almost as soft as a chinchilla\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s.

Southern Flying Squirrel Click to View Bigger Picture
Behavior:

They are the only nocturnal and gliding North American squirrel. They glide by extending the fold of skin on each side of its body and leaping from branch to branch or ground. During the days, flying squirrels den in hollow trees and cavities made by woodpeckers. As many as 20 squirrels may den together to increase heat retention. Females are territorial during summer and exclude other squirrels of both sexes form their area.

Reproduction:

One to six young are born twice a year after a gestation of 40 days.

Interesting Facts:

They can glide more than 260 feet and move quickly from tree to tree to forage or escape predators. They use their tail as a cloak, wrapping it around themselves while they rest.

Southern Flying Squirrel Click to View Bigger Picture
Southern Flying Squirrel
Range
Class: mammal
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Glaucomys
Species: volans
Length: 8.3 - 10.1 inches (including tail)
Weight: 1.8 - 2.8 ounces
Average Lifespan: 2.5
Wild Diet: Nuts, seeds, berries, fruits, moths, June bugs, bark, eggs, and young birds.
Predators: Owls are major predators; also hawks, falcons, weasels, fox and domestic cats.
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Discoveryland: Woodland Edge


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