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AKA The Flying Lemur

June 21, 2023

AKA The Flying Lemur

- as seen by -

Alys Granados Alys Granados

Borneo has several species of gliding mammals. One of them is the colugo (Galeopterus borneanus), also known as the flying lemur.

Gliding mammals can’t actually fly – they use a skin flap between their legs (called the patagium) to get around in the rainforest. Even though colugo can move up trees by climbing, they are unable to walk well on the ground and are more vulnerable to predators there. Gliding distances of nearly 400 feet have been recorded which seems an amazing feat for this relatively small nocturnal creature that weighs a little over three pounds.

While on a night hike in a Bornean secondary rainforest, my field group and I spotted a colugo’s eye shine with our headlamps high up in the canopy. Before we could fully appreciate the rarity of spotting this animal, we were treated to an incredibly memorable sight. It took off from a branch and started gliding across the forest road over our heads.

We got a small glimpse of how the colugo’s unique anatomy helps it move between trees. After landing, the little mammal disappeared into the forest, leaving us in disbelief at our luck.

, Borneo Map It


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