Travancore flying squirrel
|Travancore flying squirrel|
Petinomys fuscocapillus (Kelaart, 1850)
Travancore flying squirrel (Petinomys fuscocapillus), also known as the small flying squirrel, is a flying squirrel found in South India and Sri Lanka. Travancore flying squirrels were thought to be extinct but were rediscovered in 1989 after a gap of 100 years in Kerala. It was rediscovered in Sri Lanka after 78 years. The animals were reported only in wet and intermediate zones of the island, and had a few sightings in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve.
Head and body length is 32 cm. Tail is 25–29 cm. Dorsally reddish brown. Underparts grayish with a ruddy tinge. Tail is feather-shaped and reddish brown with a blackish undersurface. Membrane behind hind limb is small. Vibrissae is black. Dorsal fur is very soft, long and sheen.
There are 2 subspecies, as;
- Petinomys fuscocapillus fuscocapillus (Jerdon, 1847) - Western Ghats of Peninsular India
- Petinomys fuscocapillus layardi (Kelaart, 1850) - Sri Lanka.
Rare, nocturnal mammal with frugivorous diet, they are known to eat bark, shoots, and leaves, and even insects also.
- Ananthakrishnan G. (3/12/2006) Squirrels in focus, the Hindu, retrieved 6/13/2007 Two flying squirrel species
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