Physical characteristics

There are two major forms in this family, the large anom-alures and the smaller flying mice (one of which cannot fly). With their roughly square gliding membranes extended, members of the former group may be larger than a tea tray, while in the same condition the latter are smaller than the cover of a paperback novel. A cartilaginous extension of the elbow keeps the flying membrane rigid, while allowing the front limbs greater freedom for manipulative tasks. This strut is one of the anomalurids' unique features. The membrane, though thickly furred on top, is relatively sparsely furred on the underside. Eyes are large and forward facing, providing excellent biocular vision. Hearing is acute and may extend to ultrasonic frequencies. The two rows of spiked scales under the tail act as anti-skid devices on landing and also provide extra grip during climbing, or support while resting vertically on a trunk. For extra grip, claws are robust and sharp. The membrane is very flexi ble, and forms a loose folded extension of the flank when not in use. It does not hinder movement and all anomalurids can run along branches like the garden-familiar Sciurus squirrels. Anomalures do not come voluntarily to the ground. When placed on it they are clumsy, moving away in clumsy kangaroo-like hops.

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