Extant Euarchontoglires

Dermoptera

Order: Dermoptera
Family: Cyoncephalidae
Species: 2

Flying lemurs have a strong membrane called a patagium which surrounds their body. When they spread their limbs, the patagium stretches out to become like a parachute, enabling the lemur to glide from tree to tree. The name flying lemur is very misleading as they are neither lemurs, nor have the ability of powered flight. However the patagium allows them to glide for up to 100 m with very little height loss. They have small heads relative to their bodies, small muzzle and small ears. They have very large eyes as they are nocturnal. Their main diet consists of fruits, flowers, buds and young leaves. They also scrape up nectar and sap using comb shaped teeth. They have a single young after a gestation period of 2 months. After the baby is born, it will cling to the mother as she glides from tree to tree, until it is weaned at around 6 months old.

 

Example species:

Malayan flying lemur
Cynocephalus variegatus

Length: 33-42 cm
Weight: 0.9-2 kg
Social unit: Variable
Region: South-East Asia
Status: Common



Author: Emma-Louise Nicholls
Last updated: 20th November 2005
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Websites produced by students on the MSc Palaeobiology programme in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol for academic year 2005-6