The strangest flying animals



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It is not surprising that many terrestrial animals are able to fly by nature. But from now on you will be able to learn about some other rather strange animals that also got off the ground in a similar way.

Flying squirrels. When it comes to flying animals, let's start with the flying squirrel. In addition, many have probably heard about it, especially since there is even a cartoon "The Adventures of Rocky and Bulwinkle" about this squirrel and a moose. In reality, the animal is somewhat similar to a hamster, but it looks strange, thanks to its ability to jump from trees. Flying squirrels belong to the squirrel family, they set the world record for a "flying" animal. Here we mean those who glide in the wind, and not fully fly. The flying squirrel has a maximum jump of 288 feet! If a person flew from a height of a 30-meter building and remained alive, then he would certainly become the heroes of the evening news. The ability to fly in such animals is present due to the leather membrane between the front and hind limbs. The flying squirrel usually lives in the crowns of tall trees, from where it makes its flights. The direction of flight is changed by the membrane itself and by the forepaws, while the tail serves as a kind of stabilizer. Helping with landing.

Small flying phalanger. It's time to find out who the phalanger is. This animal belongs to the family of Australian possums. These creatures strongly resemble a cute fluffy toy. This phalanger is also called a sugar possum. The length of the baby's body is only up to 40 centimeters, with half of it falling on the bushy tail. For flight, the phalanger has a leather fold that extends from the wrist to the ankle. It allows the possum to glide through the air for distances of 50 to 150 feet. Interestingly, phalangers are very vocal and can make sounds similar to the hum of a household appliance. Animals often communicate by barking among themselves. Phalanger can be safely called the cutest of the animals listed here. It is no coincidence that in North America it is raised as a pet.

Flying lemurs. Perhaps the wordy "Air-sailing terrible beast" would be suitable for the name of these animals. But only these creatures are still direct relatives of lemurs. Believe it or not, this animal is a primate, our relative, although in appearance you cannot tell. Apart from bats, these are mammals most adapted for flight. Such lemurs are called caguars. As you can see, the tail and limbs are connected by skin membranes. They straighten out during flight, increasing the area. The construction of the membrane is more perfect than that of flying squirrels, it starts from the neck and ends with the tail. The animal itself becomes a kind of glider. These lemurs are not able to fly high, as they still slide down. And on the ground they move rather slowly. In the air, however, they are very maneuverable and can travel up to 320 feet without loss of altitude. Caguar body length - up to 43 centimeters, weight - up to 2 kilograms. Outwardly, these lemurs are so scary that they probably became the prototype of the tale of flying monkeys stealing children.

Flying lizards. Many consider lizards to be perfect creatures - they have big intelligent eyes, they hunt for harmful insects. But we should expect that the lizard will suddenly not hide from pursuit in the stones, but will fly away! This refers to the Indonesian lizard of the Draco genus, which directly speaks of its resemblance to dragons. These animals are known to glide up to 195 feet in the air, losing only 30 feet in height. Unlike other flying mammals, this lizard does not have loose skin membranes between its limbs. In this case, the leathery folds are located on the sides of the body, supported by long false ribs. Lizards grow up to 40 centimeters in length, and they are found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia.

Flying snake. Those who are afraid of snakes should know that this danger can be comprehended not only on the ground, but also in the air. They live in the same places as flying lemurs and lizards. This begs the question - what is it that happens on local trees, that some animals have developed the gift of flying from place to place? Flying snakes are relatively poisonous, their bite is not dangerous for humans. Most readers will not remember this fact, paying attention only to the fact that there are flying poisonous snakes in Southeast Asia. Of course, there is no need to talk about flight here either. The snake glides in the air, and does it much better than a flying squirrel. As a result, the species of Chrysopelea snakes can thus move up to 100 meters. To do this, the animal climbs a tree and rolls up like a coil. Then it sharply straightens up and forcibly launches itself into the air. While these snakes are adept at climbing vertical surfaces, flying is an added defensive function.

Flying frog. Flying frogs can be found on the islands of Kalimantan, Madagascar and in Southeast Asia. They managed to develop their parachuting ability to evade predators. In such frogs, well-developed membranes exist between the toes of the front and hind legs, and the tips of the fingers have generally transformed into discs. When jumping, the frog spreads its strange fingers and plans with their help downward. Some flying frogs can move up to 12 meters at once! It was these amphibians who were the first to rise into the air. Representatives of fold-footed frogs usually do not live in water bodies, like their relatives, but in trees. There they build nests from their mucus, and upward they can climb with the help of suckers on their paws.

Flying fish. Jumping from tree to tree while taking a short flight is one thing, but try flying while living in the ocean! But many sailors have long seen how fish fly overboard. It turns out they can travel distances up to 1,300 feet at 42 miles per hour. To achieve this result, fish in water move their tail up to 70 times per second, launching themselves out of the water and getting into the updrafts. The unusually large pectoral fins also help to float. The rise is carried out to a height of 20 feet, and there were often cases of fish simply jumping on the ship. Such results are certainly impressive for animals that were originally designed to live in water, and cannot even breathe air. Flying fish live in the tropics and subtropics, there are 77 species of them at once.

Flying stingray. What else, at 17 feet across and weighing over a ton, can jump out of the sea but the Mobula Ray? This electric relative of the well-known sea devils can jump as much as 6.5 feet into the air. At the same time, in flight, the stingray makes various pirouettes and somersaults. Scientists still cannot explain this behavior of fish. Of course, this behavior can even be dangerous for people - recently, a woman in Florida died when a heavy flying ray fell on her in a boat. Imagine if several tons of fish fell on you at once.

Sliding ants. The species of ants with wings are pretty common, so what's so interesting about gliding ants? These wingless creatures meet certain requirements. They have good eyesight, live in tropical rainforests and find their food on the tips of branches. These insects are also armored. When falling from trees, they focus on the lighter background of their tree trunk relative to the dark background of the rest of the forest. The ant then straightens its legs, head and stomach, sliding through the air as a result of free fall, while waiting to land on the next tree. Such abilities of insects have been developed by them specifically in order to avoid falling from trees down and be eaten on the ground. Sliding through the air, ants are 85% more likely to land on a tree than species that can only fall. This is how nature keeps these awkward insects, equipping them with super-ability.

Squid. The photograph of a squid flying over the ocean is not at all the work of Photoshop. Believe it or not, there are actually examples of behavior indicative of squid flying over the sea. Although this phenomenon can be called a miracle of nature, in essence there is nothing surprising here. Today, sections on flying squid can be found in any popular book about these cephalopods. It is known that young individuals of some species inhabiting the upper layer of the sea can fly. It has been recorded that squid can fly up to 60 meters, rising to a height of 6 meters. But usually they prefer to fly directly above the surface itself, without rising above a meter. These abilities, similar to those of flying fish, help squid hide from predators. For a long time, scientists could not understand at all the mechanism of flight of these mollusks. In the end, it became clear that squid above the water spread a special membrane, which allows you to create an additional wing. In this case, the mollusk does not need to be accelerated to high speeds.


Watch the video: Unusual Animals that Can Fly


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