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.

Dwarf Scaly-tailed Flying Squirrel

Dwarf Scaly-tailed Flying Squirrel / Anomalurus pusillus
Anomalurus pusillus

Order: Rodentia
Family: Anomaluridae

Description: A small anomalure whose upper surface varies from near black, grizzled grey to mottled tan or olive-brown. The membrane adjoining the tail is usually yellower while the lateral membranes are dark grey.

The head is grey without borders around the ears. The underside is pale yellowish-white, without a tinge of rufous, as are the bristles covering the hind claws.

Distribution: Occurs in central African rainforest from the high forests of Cameroon, south-western Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (= Zaire) to western Uganda and north-west shore of Lake Tanganyika. There is an isolated population in west Liberia on the Du River. The habitat is limited to forests in plains and mountains up to 2000 metres.

Reproduction: Nothing is known.

Diet: Includes bark and fruits. The drupes of parasol trees (Musanga sp.) have been recorded as a source of food.

Ecology: Population density has been found to be only five individuals per square kilometre.

Status: Least Concern.

Dwarf Scaly-tailed Flying Squirrel / Anomalurus pusillus
Dwarf Scaly-tailed Flying Squirrel
Anomalurus pusillus
Distribution: Dwarf Scaly-tailed Flying Squirrel
HB185–255 mm
TL120–200 mm
HF37–51 mm
M170–300 g

Other species:


Random species

Malayan Colugo / Galeopterus variegatus

Malayan Colugo
Galeopterus variegatus

Palawan Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes nigripes

Palawan Flying Squirrel
Hylopetes nigripes

Travancore Flying Squirrel / Petinomys fuscocapillus

Travancore Flying Squirrel
Petinomys fuscocapillus


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.