- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Why do flying lemurs glide?
The flying lemur must be one of the most inaccurately named animals in the world, for it cannot fly and it isn’t a lemur. This is why most biologists prefer to refer to it by its other name – the colugo. It lives in the forests of South-East Asia, where it glides (not flies) from tree to tree. From a standing start, it launches itself into the air with a powerful jump and spreads the massive membrane that runs from its chin to its hands, feet and tail.
The glide looks effortless, but Greg Byrnes from the University of California, Berkeley has found that it’s a surprisingly inefficient means of travel. Contrary to expectations, gliding actually takes up more