Petaurista


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Petaurista

 

(giant flying squirrel), a genus of rodents of the family Sciuridae. The body measures up to 60 cm in length; the tail is generally somewhat longer. Coloration of the back varies from pale yellow-gray to black, while the undersurface is grayish; some species have white patches on the snout. The genus consists of four or five species, which inhabit the tropical and, more often, mountain forests of Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and many islands of the Malay Archipelago. The animals are nocturnal. They are capable of gliding as much as 60 m, and some data indicate that when using ascending air currents they can glide several kilometers. There is one young, rarely two, in a litter. The flesh is edible.

In Russian, the greater gliding possum (Schoinobates volans) of the family Phalangeridae is sometimes referred to as a giant flying squirrel.