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.

North Chinese Flying Squirrel

North Chinese Flying Squirrel / Aeretes melanopterus
Aeretes melanopterus

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae, Pteromyini

Description: A large glider but with a smaller head—body length than is typically found in the giant flying squirrels. Its upper parts are a dull sandy-buff or dusky colour while the underside is off-white with a slight buff wash.

The edges of its gliding membrane are black above, with the face and throat being grey. Its rounded, bushy tail is brown.

Distribution: Restricted to China where it is limited to two isolated populations in central China. One is in the province of Hebei and the other in Sichuan and southern Gansu. Within this region it occurs in subalpine coniferous forest at 2500–3000 metres.

Reproduction: Nothing is known.

Diet: Nothing is known.

Ecology: Nothing is known.

Status: Near Threatened.

North Chinese Flying Squirrel / Aeretes melanopterus
North Chinese Flying Squirrel
Aeretes melanopterus
Distribution: North Chinese Flying Squirrel
HB275–355 mm
TL275–362 mm
HF47–65 mm
MNot known
Subspecies:

Aeretes melanopterus melanopterus — Hebei Province, China.

Aeretes melanopterus szechuanensis — Southern Gansu and central and north-eastern Sichuan Provinces, China.

Other species:


Philippine Colugo / Cynocephalus volans
Philippine Colugo

Cynocephalus volans

Malayan Colugo / Galeopterus variegatus
Malayan Colugo

Galeopterus variegatus

Black Flying Squirrel / Aeromys tephromelas
Black Flying Squirrel

Aeromys tephromelas

Random species

Squirrel Glider / Petaurus norfolcensis

Squirrel Glider
Petaurus norfolcensis

Lesser Pygmy Flying Squirrel / Petaurillus emiliae

Lesser Pygmy Flying Squirrel
Petaurillus emiliae


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.