Northern Flying Squirrel

Part of Hall of North American Mammals.

Northern Flying Squirrel gliding to safety, diorama in North American Mammals Hall

July at Midnight, Trapper Peak, Montana

An agile skydiver, the northern flying squirrel doesn’t fly—it glides. Launching itself from a perch, this rodent extends its long limbs while loose skin that stretches from wrists to ankles catches the air. The squirrel may coast as far as 300 feet (91 meters) before landing, usually low on a tree trunk. Like a pilot raising a plane’s wing flaps, the squirrel lifts its tail to brake.