Quantcast

Colugos, Cynocephalidae

Cynocephalidae is a family that holds three species of gliding, tree dwelling mammals known as culugos or flying lemurs, only two of which are living. These species, known as the Philippine flying lemur and the Sunda flying lemur, can be found in tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia. Culugos range in size between fourteen and sixteen inches and they have a slender body with long legs and a medium-sized tail. They are the most capable of all gliding mammal species, using a large membrane of skin that extends between the legs and smaller membranes of skin that stretch between the fingers to reach maximum gliding distances.

Culugos are shy in nature and so are not often seen and there is little known about their habitats and behaviors. It is thought to be primarily solitary, with individuals coming together to mate and mothers rearing their young. Although this species is placental, its reproductive habits are known to be closer to those of marsupials. Females give birth to small, underdeveloped young after a sixty day gestation period and the young will cling to their mother’s belly for at least six months. In order to secure their young while traveling or defending themselves, mothers will wrap their tail membranes under their bellies to create a sort of pouch. Young will reach full maturity at two or three years of age.

It is know that culugos are herbivorous, mainly consuming leaves, flowers, shoots, and sap and possibly fruit. Although they are arboreal, they are not skilled at climbing, so their ascents are quite slow. Both culugo species are threatened by habitat loss, although they are not at risk of extinction. They are also threatened by predation from the Philippine eagle and from humans, who catch them for their meat and fur.

Image Caption: Colugo. Adult, female, Singapore. Credit: Lip Kee Yap/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Colugos Cynocephalidae


comments powered by Disqus