Logo: Gliding mammals of the world

The world’s gliding mammals are an extraordinary group of animals that have the ability to glide from tree to tree with seemingly effortless grace. There are more than 60 species of gliding mammals including the flying squirrels from Europe and North America, the scaly-tailed flying squirrels from central Africa and the gliding possums of Australia and New Guinea.

Marsupials: Families of gliding marsupials

There are three lineages of gliding marsupials within the possum Suborder Phalangerida. They are placed within three different families, each of which has gliding and non-gliding members.

The Feathertail Glider is placed within the Family Acrobatidae, which includes the non-gliding Feathertail Possum (Distoechurus pennatus) from New Guinea. Most of the gliding marsupials occur within the Family Petauridae in the genus Petaurus, which includes six living species.

This family also includes the non-gliding Leadbeater’s Possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) and the four species of striped possum of the genus Dactylopsila that occur in New Guinea, with one of these species also occurring in Australia.

The third family, Pseudocheiridae, has the Greater Glider, along with some 17 species of non-gliding ringtail possum, including the Common Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) which is a familiar resident to many Australian backyards.

The plush-coated ringtail possum or golden ringtail possum
The plush-coated ringtail possum or golden ringtail possum (Pseudochirops corinnae) is a species of marsupial in the family Pseudocheiridae. It is found in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry forests.

Random species

Malayan Colugo / Galeopterus variegatus

Malayan Colugo
Galeopterus variegatus

Sipora Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes sipora

Sipora Flying Squirrel
Hylopetes sipora

Selangor Pygmy Flying Squirrel / Petaurillus kinlochii

Selangor Pygmy Flying Squirrel
Petaurillus kinlochii


Gliding Mammals of the World provides, for the first time, a synthesis of all that is known about the biology of these intriguing mammals. It includes a brief description of each species, together with a distribution map and a beautiful full-color painting.

An introduction outlines the origins and biogeography of each group of gliding mammals and examines the incredible adaptations that allow them to launch themselves and glide from tree to tree.