Saturday, April 24, 2010 11:51 AM cstanton

7 Spectacular Gliding Animals!

1) Flying Fish

If you've ever been out past 10 miles on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico, then you've seen hundreds if not thousands of these. They jump out of the water and can glide for 

2) The Chinese Gliding Frog

This frog looks normal enough, but this little guy is a glider too! The Chinese Gliding Frog is a type of tree frog that can glide at an angle less than 45 degrees from tree to tree. They do this by extending all of their appendages and opening up their toes and using their webbing as sort of a parachute. Pretty neat!

3) The Paradise Tree Snake

The Paradise Tree Snake is not only one of the most colorful snakes in its region, Malaysia, but it has another trick up its sleeve. This snake can take flight by flattening it's body out and taking a leap of faith!

Here's a video of the snake in action.

4) The Flying Dragon

Draco Volans, or the Flying Dragon, is a normal looking little lizard until he feels the need for a quick escape or just an adrenaline rush. These little guys have flaps of skin connected to 5 extendable ribs that they use as sails to glide through the canopy.

Watch the Draco Lizard in action. (if you notice, the snake is actually the Paradise Tree Snake as mentioned in #1!)

5) Gliding Ants

These ants are of the tropical tree ant variety and are unlike any other ants. They make their home high up in the canopy of the forest, so falling from there could mean getting extremely lost or  probably dying. These little guys have developed a knack for controlling their fall, and can use their legs as rutters to guide their fall back to the trunk of the tree from which they came.

Gliding ants in action.

6) The Mobula

The Mobula is a genus of ray that can propel itself up to 2 meters out of the water and glide back down to the surface. The Mobula resembles the Manta Ray that is in the same family. My worst nightmare: being out on a boat enjoying my day and getting stung in the face by a flying ray.

7) TheColugo

The Colugo of South East Asia is the best glider out of all of the gliding mammals. The Colugo can glide up to 70 meters from tree to tree! That's 230 feet! WOW! They're known as flying lemurs, but they are not lemurs at all. They are actually pretty clumsy climbers since they lack opposable thumbs and are pretty feeble.

This Colugo is actually gliding through the air with its young clutching to its belly!

Watch the Colugo in action.

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