What Are Some Facts About the Northern Flying Squirrel?


Quick Answer

The northern flying squirrel is larger than its cousin, the southern flying squirrel, and it lives in the United States. The northern flying squirrel is 33 percent larger than the southern flying squirrel. It weighs from 2 to 5 ounces and grows up to 13 inches long.

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What Are Some Facts About the Northern Flying Squirrel?
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Full Answer

Despite its name, the flying squirrel does not actually fly. It spreads its front and back legs, stretching a fold of skin between the two and gliding through the treetops. It then uses its tail as a rudder to steer its flight.

The northern flying squirrel lives throughout the Appalachian Mountains, ranging from Virginia to North Carolina and Tennessee. It lives in cool and humid woodland habitats, making its home in yellow birch, spruce, oak and fir trees. It makes its nest in hollowed out trees using bark, twigs, pine needles, leaves, fur and feathers. The trees not only provide a home for the squirrel, but they also provide its food. The squirrel feeds on fruit, nuts, fungi and lichen.

The northern flying squirrel is endangered because of habitat destruction due to logging. Because it only lives in the Appalachians, disappearing trees means disappearing squirrels. Pollution is another problem affecting the squirrel population.

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