Flying Squirrel

Max with Flying SquirrelFlying squirrel are a type of squirrel with forty three different types of squirrels in their family. Unlike what their name suggests, flying squirrel do not really fly. A more appropriate name would be a gliding squirrel.

Flying squirrel "fly" through the use of the patagium. The patagium is a flap of skin forming a parachute-like extension of the body which catches air and allows the squirrel to glide. Steering is accomplished by modifying the taughtness of the patagium. To adjust the patagium, the squirrel moves a cartilaginous wrist bone. While in flight, the squirrel uses its tail as a stabilizer. Prior to landing, the tail serves the purpose of acting as a brake. The brake function is necessary because a squirrel can be moving pretty quickly prior to landing on the new tree.

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