Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Animal Fun Fact: Sunda Flying Lemur


SUNDA FLYING LEMUR 
Galeopterus variegatus by yiwenwong

The Sunda flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus), a species of colugo, uses its great expanse of membrane - spanning its entire body - to glide distances up to 150m. But while the natural assumption has previously been that this adaptation saves energy, recent research has found that in fact it doesn’t: it just saves time. Gliding actually requires about 1.5 times more energy than clambering the same distance across the canopy would. However, colugos are clumsy climbers, lacking opposable thumbs to help them move through the trees. As a result, gliding rather than climbing can be up to 10 times faster, leaving more time for essential foraging.  

Love and Lightning Bugs,

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