Anomalure

Anomalure

The Anomaluridae family is a family of rodents found in central Africa. They are known as anomalures or scaly-tailed flying squirrels. There are seven species, classified into four genera. Most are brightly coloured.

All but one species of anomalurids have membranes between their front and hind legs like those of a flying squirrel, but they are not thought to be closely related to the flying squirrels that form the tribe Petauristini of the family Sciuridae. They are distinguished by two rows of pointed, raised scales on the undersides of their tails. The anatomy of their heads is quite different from that of the sciurid flying squirrels.

Most anomalurid species roost during the day in hollow trees, with up to several dozen animals per tree. They are primarily herbivorous, and may travel up to from their roosting tree in search of leaves, flowers, or fruit, although they also eat a small amount of insects. They give birth to litters of up to three young, which are born already furred and active.

Anomalurids represent one of several independent evolutions of gliding ability in mammals. The others include the true flying squirrels of Eurasia and North America, colugos or flying lemurs of Southeast Asia, and the gliding phalangers in Australia.

Taxonomy

References

  • Dieterlen, F. 2005. Family Anomaluridae. Pp. 1532-1534 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

External links

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