can fly but are not birds

The air isnt just for insects, bats or birds – there are a few other animals that can take to the skies. From tree snakes to flying fish, discover some creatures that use the air to their advantage.

The colugo (Cynocephalidae)Â can glide for 100 metres or more between trees, making it one of the most skilled gliding mammal. Its found in southeast Asia and is sometimes referred to as the flying lemur.

Its membrane, the patagium, is like that of the flying squirrel except it starts at its face and covers its fingers and toe tips through to the tail.Â

The colugos limbs and tail are long and slender, and its feet are broad and have strong, sharp recurved claws for climbing. Its lightweight skeleton and wide surface area of the patagium perfectly equip it for gliding.

Colugos have large eyes that give them brilliant depth perception, which helps them to glide between trees and land safely. They are such skilled gliders that they can transport their babies on to their stomachs until they are old enough to glide on their own.Â

Colugos eat saps, leaves and shoots. They have comb-shaped teeth, which some scientists believe may act as food strainers or scrapers, or maybe used for grooming to remove parasites from their fur. Habitat fragmentation, hunting and deforestation are threatening their numbers.

7. Japanese flying squid

Native to the north Pacific Ocean, the Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus), also called the Japanese common squid, is found near Korea, Japan, China, Russia, and the Bering Strait. The female can reach a length of 50 centimeters, making her larger than the male. They can alter their color to blend in with their surroundings, like many other cephalopods, which helps them avoid being seen by predators.

The Japanese flying squid moves quickly through the water thanks to jet propulsion. This is accomplished by the squid drawing water into its mantle, the muscular cavity that covers its body, and forcing it out of the siphon, a tube-like structure that expels waste, water, and ink.

The Japanese flying squid’s jet propulsion is so strong that it allows them to break free of the water and glide by spreading their fins and arms to create aerodynamic lift. They can move at up to 11 meters per second once they are in the air. They are thought to use their ability to glide to both avoid predators and to move quickly—they can move through the air five times faster than they can through the water. Japanese flying squid capture the fish and crustaceans that comprise their diet by using their swift reflexes. Â.

© Corina Sturm via Shutterstock

The ability to glide is crucial for the small draco lizard (Draco volans) to avoid predators, locate food, and even attract a mate. They primarily consume termites and ants and are found in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Â.

Its long ribs can stretch and contract as needed, and when it opens up, a fold of skin between the ribs functions as wings. Draco lizards can move up to 58 meters by using their tails as a steering aid. When in flight, they can grasp their wings by rotating their wrists 90 degrees.

Draco lizards grow to just 20 centimetres including their tails. Males have blue undersides to their wings, while females have yellow dewlaps (the skin at the base of their necks), and blue-grey underwings in males. Because they can glide so well, males will use their strong sense of territoriality to drive other lizards out of trees they claim as their own.

© Ryan M. Bolton via Shutterstock

Despite having extremely poor aerodynamics (which may not be surprising given its chunky body), the resilient little insect manages to overcome this by pulling itself through the air with simple brute force. In light of this, it’s probably more surprising that bumblebees can play football at all.

Although they don’t appear to be the best flyers, puffins are actually much niftier than you might imagine. Puffing its tiny wings at 400 beats per minute, a puffin can reach speeds of up to 55 miles per hour.

Scientists have determined that the squid is actually flying, not just gliding, thanks to its skilled maneuver whereby it modifies its body posture to extend its flight.

With a top speed of 200 miles per hour, the peregrine falcon is by far the fastest animal in the animal kingdom. However, the peregrine has everything going for it thanks to its enormous wingspan and advanced aerodynamics.

Yet another sea dweller that fancied a change, these rays areclosely related to sharks but are perfectly designed for flying through the air. With slender bodies and wing-like pectoral fins, they can reach heights of over two metres, before returning to the water with a loud smack.

3. Kuhl’s parachute gecko

The common flying gecko, or Kuhls parachute gecko (Gekko kuhli), is an Asian lizard that can be found in southern Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Â.

These geckos can glide over short distances thanks to their flat tail, webbed feet, and flaps on either side of their bodies. Their side flaps also blend in with the bark of the trees, providing such effective camouflage that only their eyes are visible. Â.

It can cling to even smooth, vertical, or overhanging surfaces, just like flying frogs.

© Pavaphon Supanantananont via Shutterstock

FAQ

Can any animals fly that aren’t birds?

Mammals. Bats are the only freely flying mammals. A few other mammals can glide or parachute; the best known are flying squirrels and flying lemurs.

What are birds but Cannot fly?

Flightless birds are birds that, through evolution, lost the ability to fly. There are over 60 extant species, including the well-known ratites (ostriches, emus, cassowaries, rheas, and kiwis) and penguins. The smallest flightless bird is the Inaccessible Island rail (length 12.5 cm, weight 34.7 g).

Which animal that can fly?

Aerial animals are the ones who can fly in the air. Butterfly, bats and birds like parrot, pigeon, crow, etc. are examples of aerial animals.

What are the only mammals that can fly?

Like humans, bats are mammals. Bats are the only mammals that actually fly, flapping their wings to propel them in flight. Some mammals, such as flying squirrels, only glide rather than fly.