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Flying lemurs have a deceptive name. Also called colugos, these small, furry tree-dwellers can’t technically fly, and they’re not technically lemurs. But in the Southeast Asian forests they inhabit, they can glide incredible distances between trees. And genetically they happen to be the closest living relatives of primates.
Flying lemurs depend on trees for their food and safety, so deforestation in the regions they inhabit (particularly on the Indonesian island of Sumatra) threatens their habitat. Even when loggers selectively remove one type of tree from a forest, the increased space between trees can make it difficult for these creatures to glide from tree to tree. Some local communities also occasionally hunt flying lemurs for their fur and meat.
PHILIPPINE FLYING LEMUR (Left)
RANGE Southern Philippines
WEIGHT 2.2-3.8 lb
FUR COLOR Mottled but less dramatically spotted than that of the Sunda flying lemur. Males tend to have brown fur and females tend to have gray fur.
SUNDA FLYING LEMUR (Right)
RANGE Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia
WEIGHT 2-4.5 lb
FUR COLOR Ranges from reddish-brown to gray and tends to have patches of color that look like tree lichen.