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Flying Lemurs

( Originally Published 1936 )

THE singular animals of this order were formerly classed as Lemurs, and are often spoken of as " Flying Lemurs," though they are now either placed in a separate order, Dermoptera, or " skin-winged " animals, or are treated as a sub-order of the Insectivora. The number and formation of the teeth are peculiar, the incisors being sharp and saw-like in appearance, the upper jaw containing sixteen teeth and the lower eighteen.


There is but one family and genus of these curious animals, and it is doubtful if there are more than one species.

Colugo (Galeopithecus volans)

The common Colugo, found in Sumatra, Borneo, and Malacca, is about the size of a domestic cat, and varies in colour from grey to brown. The limbs are long and thin, with five toes on each, ending in short curved claws, and the front limb is joined to the hind one on each side by means of a membrane, which, while it enables the animal to take extremely long leaps from tree to tree, is not a true wing, as in the bats. The head is long and somewhat fox-like in appearance. See Plate 4, Fig. 16. The Colugo is nocturnal, sleeping during the day, and hanging head-downwards from trees, like the bats. Its habits are not very well known, but it is supposed to feed on leaves and fruit, and, possibly, insects.

An allied form found in the Philippine Islands is regarded by some naturalists as a separate species, under the name, Galeopithecus philippinensis.

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