We are Family

on Monday, February 12, 2007

Take a very good look at this youngster. Examine his fine features. He's quite handsome don't you think?

I hope you thought that he was handsome, because he is apparently a close relative. Do you see the family resemblence?

The enchanted animal from yesterday's post is a colugo. Molly who suggested that it was a sugar glider is fairly close as they do resemble one another. It is a mammal which distingushes it from sugar gliders which are marsupials. Colugo is the native Malay name for this animal which is also misleadingly known as the Malayan Flying Lemur. It is actually not a lemur at all and it does not really fly. In fact it is one of only two species in the family Cynocephalidae of the order Dermoptera. The family name suggests that the animal has a dog-shaped head and the order name that it posesses a wing made of skin. This skin membrane which stretches between the animal's limbs allows it to glide as far as 70 m between trees.

The colugo is found in South-east Asia. The photographs in the previous post was taken in Langkawi Island. I, myself have only seen this animal three times and only once in flight. It is a nocturnal animal, active at night, and often seen at dusk gliding from tree to tree. It has been observed at a number of locations to follow a routine. Therefore, it is often able to anticipate a colugo gliding between two trees based on its observed habit. This makes it a readily anticipated sighting for hotel guests at a number of resorts in Malaysia.

So the colugo is active at night and may be seen gliding or "flying" between the same two spots night after night. Its saucer eyes are ideal for seeing things in the dark of night. These descriptions included words that were found in the two songs in the last post .

There was a scientific paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) entitled "Mammalian mitogenomic relationships and the root of the eutherian tree". According to the paper, an examination of mitochondrial DNA, seems to indicate that the colugo is a close relative of primates.

"Flying lemurs have the same ancestors as the Anthropoidea, that is, apes from the New and Old Worlds, including human beings. We are more closely related to flying lemurs than we are to half-apes," says Professor Arnason.

Ah, we can chose our friends but we cannot chose our relatives. So once again I hope you thought that he was handsome and cute.


Titania Starlight said...

I am Squirrels friend and I wanted to check out your blog. I really like it. I especially love animals and poistive messages. Good job!

Janice said...

Definitely a cute little animal LGS...I had thought at first it was some kind of bat...love the humor in your posts and look forward to reading more. BTW the squirrel gallery was awesome!...and now just for you:

I like squirrels
the fluffier the better.
I had a friend named "Squirrel",
he and I were in there solid
all one summer
till cold weather came along
and broke us up.
He wasn't into indoor living-
I couldn't see going underground.

Published in local newspaper a few years back and written by my Aunt.

Josie said...

Well, I have to say, that is without a doubt the cutest face I have ever seen. And I have never heard of that little critter before. Thank you!


Squirrel said...

Cool pictures of those creatures! My brother used to have two sugar gliders. those things were cute but boy did they stink!

Tai said...


Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Glad to meet you. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

Thanks for the poem. It is so cute. So sad that they broke up over living arrangements!!!

I think you say that to all the animals you meet.

Thank you for the smell info. Haha.:-))


Molly said...

You,LGS, are a fount of info! Very interesting stuff. Had never heard of this distant relative...

Le Nightowl said...

What an interesting animal. Definitely unique in its genre, and one of the many natural curiosities of this world.
I really enjoyed reading your post, and as usual it made me want to know more :)

HeiressChild said...

i never heard of this animal either. thanx for sharing the info.


HeiressChild said...

i remember about 7 yrs ago during a bad snowstorm, there was this one lone squirrel outside. i think he couldn't find his family. i began to pray (honest!) for the squirrel to find his family, and for the family to come looking for him. other than the squirrel, there was nobody or no other animal on the streets.

finally, the squirrel climbed up a tree, walked along a wire and just kept going. i watched it until it was out of sight. i think he found his way home.

i use the gender "he," but i don't know if it was a girl or boy squirrel. when i shared this story at work, my co-workers laughed so hard. months later, they were still laughing. i'm just glad the squirrel got home ok, or at least i like to think so.


Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Well Molly,
you got the closest guess and in fact it is probably difficult to distinguish between a colugo and a sugar glider from a distance. They are geographically separated though.

I learn a lot as I prepare a post and when I read other blogs including yours.

Thanks for praying for that squirrel. I think we were meant to watch out for all of God's creatures.

CSL said...

He's adorable. You know, I thought lemur when I saw its face in the last post, but I didn't know there were flying/gliding varieties, which is why I went with flying squirrel.

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