22 July 2016

Flying Squirrel Landing


I have to say I think Flying Squirrels are quite possibly the cutest mammal in Michigan! Although “flying” squirrel is not quite accurate. These animals are not capable of actually powered flight like birds and bats. Instead they glide like a paper airplane on a membrane of skin called a patagium. This membrane runs from their wrist to their ankle. When they leap from the trunk of a tree they spread their limbs forming a square upon which they glide. Up to 150 feet! Just prior to landing they raise their rather wide tail forcing their rear-end down and creating a parachute like effect to slow themselves and soften the landing.

Good Luck and Good Light!

Image: Southern Flying Squirrel, Brighton, MI
Nikon D4S, 200-400mm zoom, 1/250th @ f19, ISO 320, 4 High-speed flashes, Cognisys Sabre trigger system.
Image cropped 25% for final composition.