There are 43 species and 14 genera of flying squirrels. Some of these species are not understood well. They can make deep holes in trees and they cannot see whether it is night or day outside. The flying squirrel is not completely nocturnal, and they use their circadian clock as a reminder to awaken them during twilight.
Flying squirrels are small and medium sized rodents, and they are adapted for living in arboreal life. The squirrel has a slender body and it has a bushy tail. The tail makes the flying squirrel look bigger. The squirrels have gliding membranes; they use them to fly. The giant flying squirrel can stretch its neck to reach its tail. The flying squirrel is recognized by its prominent ears and large protruding eyes. The can have fairly soft, dense fur, and they are found in many colors that can range from brownish to black to gray. The giant flying squirrel has bright colors, which include bright yellow and vivid orange.
Flying squirrels are found in the arboreal group, and they are able to make their habitats in different places like forested and wooded regions. They can live in a temperate deciduous forest and tropical rainforests. A few species live on plantations and parklands.
Flying squirrels are most of the time nocturnal, but they have different types of social systems. The flying squirrels live in pairs since they are monogamous. The flying squirrel is typically territorial, but this behavior cannot be found within the temperate species.
Flying squirrels feed on plant and animal matter. Those that live in the tropical regions are mostly herbivorous and some eat fruits and shoots. The squirrels that live in a temperate region can eat fungi, animal matter, seeds and fruits. The small tropical species is carnivorous and it feeds on small vertebrates, insects and spiders.
There is not much information about the breeding biology of the flying squirrels. The temperate species have a short summer breeding season. Tropical species will breed the entire season. A female squirrel will have at least one litter each year and can have one or even two infants in one litter. Gestation takes 40 days and weaning can take place after eight weeks. Young squirrels may continue to live with the mother until the second litter will be born.
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