The Story Of Wild Animals:
Story Of The Raccoon
Story Of The Cobego
Story Of The Gazelle
Story Of The Chameleon
Story Of The Fossa
Story Of The Walrus
Story Of The Mole
Story Of The Pangolin
Story Of The Opossum
Story Of The Caffre Cat
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Story Of The Cobego
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
While in the interior of Mindanao, one of the largest islands in the Philippine group, I was once somewhat startled to see a large bird, as I then thought, fly over me. It lit on a tree near by and I stopped to study it. To my great surprise I saw an animal fully two feet long and weighing about twenty pounds seated on a limb of the tree. I shot it and found that it was a female cobego. It had two of its young clinging to its breast when it fell.
An investigation showed me that the animal has a parachute formed by folds of skin, by means of which it can leap fifty or sixty yards. While not possessing the power of true flight, like a bat, its leaps exceed those of the flying squirrel. Its integument is so elastic that extended the cobego covers fully a square yard of area, and the long tail is of great service in sustaining its flight.
The common cobego is found in Sumatra, Borneo, Java, the Malay Peninsula, Tenasserim, and Siam. It is sluggish in its motions, at least by day, going up, a tree by short runs of a few feet, and then stopping a moment as if the action was difficult. It rests during the clay clinging to the trunks of trees, where its olive or brown fur, mottled with irregular whitish spots and blotches, resembles closely the color of mottled bark, and no doubt helps to protect it. Once, in a bright twilight, I saw one of these animals run up a trunk in a rather open place, and then glide obliquely through the air to, another tree, on which it alighted near its base, and immediately began to ascend. I paced the distance from the one tree to the other, and found it to be seventy yards; and the amount of descent I estimated at not more than thirty-five or forty feet, or less than one in five. This I think proves that the animal must have some power of guiding itself through the air, otherwise in so long a distance it would have little chance of alighting upon the trunk. The cobego feeds chiefly on leaves, and possesses a very voluminous stomach. The hair is very small; and the animal possesses such a remarkable tenacity of life that it is exceedingly difficult to kill it by any
ordinary means. The tail is prehensile, and is probably made use of as an additional support while feeding. The animal is said to have one or two young at a time, and my own observation confirms this statement, for I once shot a female, with a very small, blind, and naked little creature clinging closely to its breast, which was quite bare and much wrinkled. On the back, and extending over the limbs and membrane, the fur of these animals is short but exquisitely soft, resembling in its texture that of the chinchilla.