Flying mouse

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Flying mice
Temporal range: Recent
Britannica Flying-squirrel Pigmy African Flying-Squirrel.png
Pygmy scaly-tailed flying squirrel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Suborder: Anomaluromorpha
Family: Anomaluridae
Subfamily: Zenkerellinae
Genus: Idiurus
Matschie, 1894
Species

Idiurus macrotis
Idiurus zenkeri

The flying mice, also known as the pygmy scaly-tails, pygmy scaly-tailed flying squirrels, or pygmy anomalures are not mice, not squirrels, and are not capable of true flight. These unusual rodents are essentially miniaturized versions of anomalures and are part of the same sub-Saharan African radiation of gliding mammal.

Characteristics

These animals resemble mice with gliding membranes and long, sparsely-haired tails. Their appearance is similar to some marsupial gliders. They are less than 10 cm (4 inches) in head and body length and weigh 14-35 grams (1/2 - 1.2 oz).

Flying mice are nocturnal and are found in the poorly explored tropical forests of central (and to a lesser extent western) Africa. Little is known of their habits as a result. It has been suggested that one or both species may live in colonies of dozens of individuals. Bats may also be found sharing these tree-hollow colonies.

Species

See also

Gliding mammal

References

  • Dieterlen, F. 2005. Family Anomaluridae. Pp. 1532-1534 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  • Kingdon, J. 1997. The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals. Academic Press Limited, London.
  • Nowak, Ronald M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1936 pp. ISBN 0-8018-5789-9
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