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Glaucomys sabrinus

Northern Flying Squirrel

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Glaucomys sabrinus
Galucomys sabrinus - right (with G. volans); larger than  G. volans, dark gray belly hairs with white tips are distinctive (inset)
Click to enlarge. (98 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Flying squirrels do not fly. They launch themselves into the air and glide long distances from tree to tree. They have a membrane known as a patagium that stretches between their front and hind limbs, which serves the same purpose as a hang glider's wings. The tail is flattened, which gives them an even greater gliding surface and aerial control. Northern Flying Squirrels play a critical role in the ecology of Pacific Northwest forests. They are important in the diets of Northern Spotted Owlsowl pairs are estimated to consume as many as 500 flying squirrels a yearand they help disperse the spores of fungi that aid the forest trees' absorption of nutrients from the soil.

Sexual Dimorphism:

Range: 275-342 mm

Range: 75-140 g


Shaw, G., 1801.  General Zoology, p. 157.  Thomas Davison, London, 2:1-266.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Glaucomys sabrinus

Image of Glaucomys sabrinus
Glaucomys sabrinus (Northern Flying Squirrel), MidAtlantic
Click to enlarge. (82kb)

Image of Glaucomys sabrinus
Click to enlarge. (263kb)