Indian giant flying squirrel
|Indian Giant Flying Squirrel|
The Indian giant flying squirrel (Petaurista philippensis, Gujarati: ઉડતી ખિસકોલી, මහ හම්බාවා in Sinhala), alternatively referred to as the large brown flying squirrel or the common giant flying squirrel, is a species of rodent in the Sciuridae family. It is found in China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand.
Head and body length is usually 43cm. Tail is 50cm in male and 52cm in female.
Black to gray brown in color and appears grizzled. A membrane in front of forelimb and hindlimb is developed for gliding through trees. Wing membrane is paler gray beneath. Tail hairy and blackish to gray brown. Feet is black. Nose is pale pink. Vibrissae black. Fur long and soft in upperparts, with gradually reduce through to the underparts.
They usually prefer higher elevations about 400-1000m.
Nocturnal and arboreal squirrel, occurs in dry deciduous and evergreen forests. In addition to natural forests, the animal is recorded from plantations. It is found to occupy tree canopies and holes.
These squirrels are roost in tree hollows lined with barks, fur, moss, and leaves. They are known to be sociable when food is abundant in the surrounding, where attacks increase with food scarcity. The vocals of this squirrel is known to similar with that of Spot-bellied eagle-owl.
Mainly frugivorous, they also eat bark, tree resins, shoots, leaves, insects, and larvae. According to a research, they are known to fond of Ficus racemosa, followed by Cullenia and Artocarpus heterophyllus. Leaves formed an important component of the diet and the leaves of F. racemosa were consumed more than those of any other species. Flying squirrels proved to be tolerant of disturbance and exploited food resources at the fragment edge, including exotic planted species.
Female gives birth to a single offspring during mid June. Offspring born blind and much lengthier than other mammalian offspring, where the head is disproportionately large when compare with the body.
- Walston, J., Duckworth, J. W. & Molur, S. (2008). Petaurista philippensis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
- Yapa, A.; Ratnavira, G. (2013). Mammals of Sri Lanka. Colombo: Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka. p. 1012. ISBN 978-955-8576-32-8.
- Squirrels, Angelfire
- Koli, VK., Bhatnagar C & Mali D. (2011). Gliding behaviour of Indian Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista philippensis Elliot. Current Science. 100(10): 1563–1568. http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/100/10/1563.pdf
- Bhatnagar C., Koli, V.K. and Sharma, S.K. (2010). Summer diet of Indian Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista philippensis (Elliot) in Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan, India. J. Bom. Nat. Hist. Soc. 107 (3): 183-188.
- Bhatnagar C., Sharma S.K. & Koli, V.K. (2010). High day temperature and sleep out behavior of Elliot’s Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista philippensis (Elliot) in Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan, India. J. Bom. Nat. Hist. Soc. 107 (3):245–246.
- Nandini, R. & Parthasarathy, N. (2008). Food habits of the Indian Giant Flying Squirrel (Petaurista philippensis) in rain forest fragment, Western Ghats. J. Mammal. 89(6): 1550-1556. http://glidingsquirrel.in/RNandini/Publications_files/nandini_parthasarathy_2008.pdf
- Koli, VK., Bhatnagar C & Sharma, S.K. (2013). Distribution and status of Indian Giant Flying Squirrel (Petaurista philippensis Elliot) in Rajasthan, India. Natl. Acad. Sci. Lett. 36(1): 27-33. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40009-012-0105-z
- Koli, VK., Bhatnagar C & Sharma S.K. (2013). Food habits of Indian Giant Flying Squirrel (Petaurista philippensis Elliot) in tropical deciduous forest, Rajasthan, India. Mammal Study. 38(4): 251-259. http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.3106/041.038.0409
- Koli, VK., Bhatnagar C & Sharma S.K. (2012). Sunbasking behaviour of Elliot's giant flying squirrel Petaurista philippensis (Elliot) in Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan, India. J. Bom. Nat. Hist. Soc. 109(3): 196-197.
- Koli, VK. & Bhatnagar C. (2014). Calling activity of Indian giant flying squirrel (Petaurista philippensis, Elliot, 1839) in the Tropical deciduous forest, India. Wildl. Biol. Pract. 10(2): 102-110.