Dermoptera


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Related to Dermoptera: colugo, Scandentia, Sunda Flying Lemur

Dermoptera

[dər′mäp·tə·rə]
(vertebrate zoology)
The flying lemurs, an ancient order of primatelike herbivorous and frugivorous gliding mammals confined to southeastern Asia and eastern India.

Dermoptera

 

(gliding or flying lemurs), an order of mammals. The body length is about 40 cm, and the tail length is about 25 cm. The body weight is 1–1.7 kg. The limbs and tail are joined by a broad fur-covered membrane, with the help of which the animal can glide from tree to tree. Gliding lemurs are found in the Philippines and southern Indochina and on most islands of the Malay Archipelago. The forest-dwelling arboreal animals are nocturnal and herbivorous. The female gives birth to one offspring, occasionally two.

The single genus, Cynocephalus, embraces two species: the Phillipine gliding lemur (C. volans) and the Malayan gliding lemur (C. variegatus). Because the order combines characteristics of insectivores, chiropterans, and prosimians, it is difficult to classify. On some islands the animals are hunted for their meat and fur.