How Many Flying Squirrel Species Are There?
The number of flying squirrel species is not exactly known. Most of them are diurnal tree squirrels, although some subspecies are threatened with extinction. This article discusses the Humboldt’s flying squirrel (G. s. macrotis) and the Laotian giant flying squirrel (G. s. macrotis).
Glaucomys volans (Glaucomys volans)
How many flying squirrel species are there? is a question that has been plaguing researchers for many years. The question has become so important that we’ve started a new project to count them all. This project will help us find out how many flying squirrel species there are! To answer this question, we need to know the different characteristics of each one. A few of the most common features that distinguish flying squirrels are listed below.
There are many species of flying squirrels, but which are the most common and why? First, we’ll talk about the northern flying squirrel. This small, fuzzy creature is around ten inches long, with a long flat tail and black eyes. Its fur is soft white or cinnamon brown and its tail acts as a rudder. The red giant and the woolly flying squirrel are both endangered and are a great place to start researching them.
The northern flying squirrel is strictly nocturnal. It is a gliding mammal that does not have true flight abilities. There are 25 subspecies of the northern flying squirrel in North America. The name Glaucomys comes from the Greek glaukos and mys, while Sabrinus is from the latin word sabrina, which describes the squirrel’s habit of living near rivers.
Humboldt’s flying squirrel (G. s. macrotis)
It’s a long-standing question in the animal kingdom: how many different species of Humboldt’s flying squirrel are there? Scientists at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in the United States conducted genetic analyses on 185 flying squirrel specimens from the Pacific and North American regions. Their results proved that there are two distinct species. One of these is the northern flying squirrel. The researchers named the latter Humboldt’s flying squirrel after Alexander von Humboldt, a naturalist who helped discover the species.
The Humboldt’s flying squirrel is found in forested habitats on the Pacific coast of North America. Its range overlaps with that of the northern flying squirrel, but very little information about its distribution and population size has been collected. Further research will help researchers understand its abundance and role in its ecosystem. A complete list of known species is required for accurate identification. It’s not a good idea to guess, but it’s always good to be safe than sorry.
How many Humboldt’s flying-squirrel species are there? In North America, it’s the third species of the Glaucomys genus. Until recently, scientists thought that the Humboldt’s flying squirrel was identical to the Northern Flying Squirrel. However, DNA analysis showed that Humboldt’s flying squirrel differs from the northern one in terms of coloration and body size.
Laotian Giant Flying Squirrel (G. s. macrotis)
Only three flying squirrel species live in North America, and they are all small, measuring around 26 centimeters. Ninety percent of these animals live in Asia. Some species are large enough to be mistaken for raccoons. One of the largest flying squirrel species is the Laotian Giant Flying Squirrel, which is over a meter long and weighs about 1.8 kilograms.
In September 2012, a team of scientists from the University of Utah and the Natural History Museum in New York City collected the world’s largest flying squirrel. They found it among the carcasses of the semi-legal Thongnami bushmeat market in Pakkding District, Bolikhamxai Province. Their findings led to the creation of a conservation project to protect this unique animal from poaching.
The scientific name of this animal is Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis. It is found in southwestern Yunnan. The Chinese “yunanensis” is actually a subspecies of nigra. The two Chinese species are sometimes confused, though the Chinese term should remain as a synonym for the white-bellied giant flying squirrel.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.