Nature has many weird and unusual creatures which can surprise you with their abilities. Most animals are born with certain parts in their body while some adapt as per the surroundings. The ones who adapt according to their surroundings evolve into a being they previously weren’t. This evolution has been a part of nature ever since the creation of mankind. It has helped the animals survive in their surroundings and also gain a variety of different abilities. The ability to fly is mostly associated with birds, insects and bats but there are more animals with this ability. Here is a list of animals that may have not known could fly:
There are around 50 species of squirrels which are known for their ability to fly. These species of rodents don’t exactly fly but have the ability to glide. A furry membrane which is known as patagium helps these animals to glide from tree to tree. This patagium is spread around the sides of their body, connecting their hands and feet. It gives an impression of wings which is why these animals have the attribute of “flying” in their name. They can sail in the air from a distance of 150 to 500 feet (152.4 m). Their ability to stay in the air helps them evade all the predators that stay on the ground. Their diet depends on the availability of the food in their habitat but most of these species feed on insects and nuts.
Also known as the flying dragons, these lizards resemble dragons in many aspects except throwing flames from their mouth. Including the tail, these lizards can be as long as 9 inches (22.86 cm). These lizards have adapted flying to evade the predators that lurk on the ground. They can cover a distance of 30 feet (9.14 meters) in the air while a fully forced leap can help them cover up to 90 feet (27.43 m). Their flattened body and lightweight helps them to stay a float in the air for longer.
Males of this species are yellow while the females are usually bluish. Not only do these creatures stay in the air to avoid predators but also do it mark their territories and catch food. The usual diet for these lizards mostly consists of insects like ants and termites. The females of this species have to take it to the ground to lay the eggs.
While most of the animals that have the ability of flying stay on land, this is an exception. These fishes use force to jump out of the water and once there, they use their wings to glide in the air. With good force applied, these fishes can cover a distance up to 650 feet (198.12 m) in the air. An average flying fish can be as long as 7 to 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) while the longest of them can be up to 18 inches (45.72 centimeters). There are around 40 species of flying fish that live in a variety of areas. Planktons are the primary part of their diet while they also eat a number of different things. On an average, a flying fish has a lifespan of around 5 years. Even though they are commercially fished, their population remains stable.
Another group that lives in water and has this ability, there are around 370 species of devil rays. Around nine of these species are known to leap from the water and glide for some time. The devil rays can be as wide as up to 1.1–5.2 m (3.6 to 17.1 ft) and manta rays can be up to 5.5–7.0 m (18.0 to 23.0 ft).
The reason for these fishes to leap or fly isn’t clear but the scientists are doing research on it. Theories show that this may be a mating ritual to attract the fishes of opposite sex. These fishes are mostly found in warm oceans around the world and usually live in big families. While feeding, they swim around in a big group that contains around 100 fishes. Not only do they leap longer but are also known for their speed inside the water as they are fast swimmers.
One of the tiniest mammals on the earth, these lightweight creatures are found in Australia. As the name suggests, they have a light and long tail that looks like a feather. They are the only mammals found on the earth who have such tails. An adult of this species can weigh around 10 to 15 grams. Most of them have gray and brown fur which also makes them look a lot similar to rats. Their usual homes are on trees and that’s why their ability of gliding or flying comes to use.
Usual diet of these tiny creatures includes insects, pollen and nectar. A normal distance to glide would be around 14 meters, but they can glide up to 28 meters with full force. They are known to live in groups which can contain around 5 to 30 of these creatures. Life expectancy of these creatures is around 4 years.
Malabar Gliding Frog
Found in the western ghats of India, these rarely spotted frogs are known for their long leaps. They can leap up to cover a distance of around 10 to 12 feet (3.66 meters). These frogs have thin skin between their fingers which is the reason behind their ability to leap. Most of the frogs of this species are green and so come in the category of mossy frogs. They are one of the largest mossy frogs with an average body length of around 10 cm. Apart from that, they also have the ability to camouflage. Another interesting fact about these frogs is that some behavior of cannibalism is found in some of their tadpoles. The tadpoles are hatched onto a foam nest which the adult frog makes above small pools of water. Population of these frogs has been decreasing over the last few years due to issues like global warming and deforestation.