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   xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Aug 19 11:04 PM

Aug 20th, 2017: Jurassic Gliders

There’s all manner of critters that fly, birds, insects, but not mammals except the Bat.
But there are reptiles like snakes and frogs as well as mammals that glide. The oldest gliding mammals, discovered in China,
were gliding 160 million years ago, when T-Rex was a road hazard.

Maiopatagium furculiferum and Vilevolodon diplomylos were both small, furry mammals well-adapted to an arboreal lifestyle. The fossils are so well preserved that paleontologists could observe a tell-tale fringe of skin and fur around their bodies, similar to the membranes used by sugar gliders and flying squirrels to float through the air. Lengthened fingers allowed them to hang like bats from tree branches, and their gliding membranes, called patagium, gave the ancient mammals the ability to move from tree to tree without ever touching the ground.

Both fossils belong to a group of ancestral mammals that have long been extinct. As such, there is no line connecting them to gliding mammals today, indicating that mammalian aerial skills disappeared and re-emerged at least once throughout history


Griff  Sunday Aug 20 06:58 AM

I'm not sure that an arboreal lifestyle is legal in PA.

sexobon  Sunday Aug 20 09:31 AM

They have family trees; but, that's just on paper ...

Diaphone Jim  Sunday Aug 20 12:18 PM

I think I saw the lower guy in Central Park.

Gravdigr  Sunday Aug 20 01:23 PM

Pretty fly for a squrl guy.

xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Aug 20 10:03 PM

There are Northern Flying Squirrels, and the smaller Southern Flying Squirrels, but none hold a candle to the Uncommon Flying Squirrel.

Diaphone Jim  Monday Aug 21 04:02 PM

I was referring to the critter in the top pic with his coat open.
And no, he hadn't just sold out of fake Rolexes.

xoxoxoBruce  Monday Aug 21 07:59 PM

Yes, but he/she doesn't hold a candle to the Flying Squirrel with a cape, nor do regular Flying Squirrels or Sugar Gliders.
What we have here is Super Squirrel. Don't mess with Super Squirrel.

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