When you think of flying animals, the first thing that comes to mind is birds. Birds are one of the closest relatives of dinosaurs, and they largely own the sky, with the exception of insects. However, there are many animals that fly, but not birds. In this article, we will discuss nine of the most interesting flying animals that are not birds.
# 9 The animal that flies (it’s not a bird!): Flying stingray
Our first place on the list of flying animals belongs to the flying beam. These flying rays, which are more often called Mobula’s rays or devil’s rays, are members of the genus Mobula and are closely related to manti. There are 11 recognized species of this genus, and they are found in warm waters around the world from the Mediterranean to the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.
These rays can be up to 17 feet in diameter and bounce up to 6 feet into the air. Like most of the people on this list, flying rays are not capable of extended flight, but they can cover an impressive distance and return to the water with a loud slap. It is not known exactly why these rays jump, but researchers suspect it may have something to do with attracting a mate.
Among the many animals in this vast world, there are so many creatures that not only birds can fly. Here we have touched only the most interesting flying animals. Flying snakes, devil rays, kolugo and flying squid are just a few of the unexpected species that can use the sky to move around and more.
# 8 The animal that flies (it’s not a bird!): Flying snake
Flying snakes are one of five species of this genus. Chrysopelea… These snakes are native to West Indies and the islands of Indonesia and can grow up to 4 feet in length. Although they fly like many of the other animals on this list, these snakes are actually more agile pilots than flying squirrels and koluga.
Flying snakes, mostly living in the treetops, are believed to jump from branches to escape predators or in search of prey. As they rise into the air, they flatten their bodies into a downward-facing concave shape that allows them to retain air and stay in the air longer. The snakes then use the undulating movements of their bodies to actually turn in the air!
# 7 The animal that flies (it’s not a bird!): Colugo
Colugo is more commonly referred to as flying lemurs, but their name is incorrect as they are not related to lemurs at all. The closest genetic relatives of colugo are primates, similar to the great apes. Only two species of this mammal remain, which separated from the monkeys about 80 million years ago. Cynocephalus volans Philippines and Cinocephalus is varied Myanmar and Malaysia share some similarities with flying foxes, which we talked about earlier than with other mammals.
A unique feature of kolugo is that the web that connects their limbs also attaches to their tail and stretches throughout their body, giving them a bat-like appearance. They are capable of gliding over 230 feet without losing any measurable altitude. Nocturnal tree dwellers, these creatures follow a predominantly vegetarian diet, unlike many of the other animals mentioned here.
# 6 Animal that flies (it’s not a bird!): Flying squid.
The flying squid is similar to the flying fish we mentioned earlier on our list, except they are even more amazing. A fish flying next to your boat is one thing, but who expects a squid to pop out of the water and fly by? There are several species of flying squid, but the Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacific) has the most striking appearance.
The Japanese flying squid has unique winged pectoral fins in the upper body. They are not used for propelling, but they help the squid with its ability to slide. These squid can be found in the North Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan, Russia, China and even in Alaska. Squid Arrow (Nototodarus gouldi) have witnessed the release of jets of water for movement in flight up to 10 feet in height over a distance of over 30 feet.
# 5 The Animal That Flies (It’s Not a Bird!): Wallace’s Flying Frog
Wallace’s Flying Frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus) is the largest and most famous representative of several species of flying frogs. Native to the tropical forests of Malaysia and Borneo, Wallace’s flying frog spends most of its time in trees and descends only to lay eggs or mate. They use the webbing between their legs to glide up to 50 feet after jumping off branches when threatened or hunting insects.
These frogs grow up to 4 inches and are bright green with yellow sides. The characteristic black membrane between the toes visually distinguishes them from other species of flying frogs. These insectivores lay their eggs in Asian rhino hovels, and although they are currently considered the least dangerous in terms of their conservation status, it is not known how the rapidly declining Asian rhino population will affect them.
# 4 The animal that flies (it’s not a bird!): Flying squirrel.
Flying squirrels belong to the tribe Pteromyini, which has more than 50 different species. This is another mammal that cannot fly steadily, but can soar at incredible distances. Layers of loose skin and muscle between the legs allow some species to glide up to 1,500 feet. These squirrels are nocturnal and jump from tree tops and cliffs to begin their flight.
Some species, such as the dwarf flying squirrel of the genus Petaurillas just 3 inches long, while giant flying squirrels from tropical India can grow up to 2 feet with an extra 2 feet tail. Several species are found in North America and Europe, but most of these squirrels are found in the forests of India and Asia.
# 3 The animal that flies (it’s not a bird!): Flying fish
The Exocoetidae is a family of over 40 different flying fish species. These fish have special pectoral fins that can be spread apart and flattened so that they can jump out of the water and glide at speeds up to 37 miles per hour. The flying fish floats powerfully to the surface and then glides over 600 feet with its fins, even reaching heights of up to 4 feet.
They are found throughout the world mainly in the open oceans, but some species also inhabit areas around coral reefs. They are common in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Flying fish grow up to 18 inches long and are attracted by light. Fishermen sometimes use canoes filled with a little water and supplied with bait light to encourage these fish to jump right into the canoe and catch themselves.
# 2 Animal that flies (it’s not a bird!): Flying fox.
Next is any of the 65 species of bats known as flying foxes, which are all members of this genus. Wings… While they are technically bats too, they have so many differences that they warrant a separate discussion. Bats, also called old world bats, are native to tropical islands in Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia, as well as mainland Asia. They rely on species rather than echolocation like other bats, and mostly eat fruit.
The smallest flying foxes are some of the smallest bats in the world. Long-tongued nectar bats (Macroglossus minimus) are only 2-3 inches long with a wingspan of just 10 inches, and they use their tongue to collect pollen and nectar. Members of the flying fox family are better known as some of the largest bat species in the world. Golden crown flying fox (Acerodon jubatus) has a six-foot wingspan and is large enough to be hunted by humans in search of food!
# 1 Animal that flies (it’s not a bird!): Bat.
Bats belong to the order of bats and are the only flying mammals. From a tiny bumblebee bat (Craseonycteris thonglongyai), which weighs just 0.07 ounces to the golden flying fox (Acerodon jubatus), which can weigh 3 pounds, these animals eat a wide variety of things like insects, fruits, nectar, and animal blood.
Bats are found all over the world, the vast majority of them are nocturnal. Their thin, webbed wings represent a special method of movement, and they can all be easily identified by their unique flight pattern. Insectivorous bats live in caves in groups of up to several thousand, while other bats live in solitude. Some people even build bat houses on their property to encourage bats to settle down and rid them of other flying pests.
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