Behavior

All species of flying squirrel are totally nocturnal. They display a variety of social systems. Giant flying squirrels are believed to be largely monogamous, occurring in pairs both in and outside the breeding season. Most species though are largely territorial, although this territoriality may breakdown in the temperate species outside of the breeding season, when large groups communally nest in winter dens.

Home ranges of up to 12 acres (5 ha) have been reported in giant flying squirrels and 6 acres (2.5 ha) in southern flying squirrel. Information on the small tropical species is sparse despite some of them being fairly numerous. Their gliding ability is very precise and individuals can change direction in mid-flight, the giant flying squirrels have been reported as gliding up to 1,475 ft (450 m). Many species are naturally very docile and do not attempt to bite when handled. Flying squirrels have a variety of vocalizations including loud high-pitched bird-like trills and soft twittering calls.

A southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) leaping from a branch. (Photo by Nick Bergkessel/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

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