Flying squirrels are known for soaring anywhere from 150 to 500 feet, sailing from tree to tree to avoid ground predators—but they actually glide rather than fly. Flying squirrels don’t have their own means of propulsion, like a bird or bat, but glide using a furry membrane called the patagium that connects at their wrists down to their ankles. When they leap from a tree and spread their limbs, this flap of loose skin forms a square and acts like a hang glider.
Flying squirrels can turn by lowering one arm, while a specialized piece of cartilage not found in other gliding mammals extends from the wrist to support the pagatium and help them steer. These