Author Susan Benton

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Flying squirrel

The Northern flying squirrel doesn't actually have wings. Therefore, it doesn't fly like a bird. Instead it has an extra flap of skin along its sides, extending from its front legs to its rear legs, that allows it to glide for 80-100 feet. Its flattened tail serves as both a rudder to direct it and as a brake to slow its landing. However, since it only comes out at night, most have never seen this daring animal in action.

Only 9-14 inches long, these mammals are widespread in the older deciduous forests of North America. Owls, hawks, martens, weasels, and cats would all like to make a meal of a flying squirrel, but its alertness and agility often save the day.

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(Photo:By laszlo-photo' [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

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