flying mouse

Long-eared Flying Mouse

The Long-eared Flying Mouse (Idiurus macrotis), or Long-eared Scaly-tailed Flying Squirrel, is a species of flying mouse from western and central Africa. To 'fly' or rather glide, it uses two membranes which fold up when not in use. When the limbs are stretched wide in a star-shape, the membranes become taught and allows the rodent to glide from tree to tree. Idiurus spends all of its time in the trees, living in hollow trunks in large colonies. It has a long tail in proportion to its body, sporting two lines of raised scales, and patches of scaly skin to help it grip trees, but the rest of its body is furry. The tail is longer than the body and is also used to balance, like a primate's tail. Long-eared scaly-tailed flying squirrels are about 20cm long and weigh 30g, but not much else is known about them because they are very hard to keep alive in captivity. In comparison, the common household mouse is approximately 10 cm long and its tail is approximately 5 cm (a combined length of about 15 cm).

References

  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

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