A little known forest-living animal which has a huge gliding membrane and makes spectacular leaps from tree to tree in the Philippine rainforests.
33-38cm long, with a 22-27cm tail. Weighs 1-1.5kg.
A small animal looking initially rather like a squirrel, but with a gliding membrane, known as a patagium, stretching between the fore and hind legs and to the tail. They have small ears and quite large eyes, bare noses and no obvious whiskers. Their fur is soft and a mottled dark grey/brown with only a few irregular white spots. This makes them very well camouflaged against lichen-covered tree bark. The underside of the patagium is hairless and pink. They have highly specialised teeth, with the lower front teeth being comb-like. This may be for grooming or for collecting tree sap. The other teeth are also unusual - there is a gap between the front and back teeth as in some hoofed animals, and the second incisor (front tooth) has a double root, which is unique in mammals.
The Philippine islands of Mindanao, Basilan, Samar, Leyte and Bohol.
Leaves, flowers, and some fruit and sap.
Colugos are nocturnal forest animals, spending the day curled up in holes, or hanging underneath a branch, wrapped in their patagium. They are solitary, and move around the forest by hopping clumsily up tree trunks using their sharp claws, and then gliding from tree to tree once they are at an appropriate height. They can glide 70m or more without losing height.
Little is known about colugo courtship, but after a gestation period of 60 days the mother gives birth to a single young, or occasionally twins. They appear to be able to mate again soon after the birth. The youngster is born very underdeveloped, and is carried around on the mother's belly, even in flight, with the tail portion of the patagium curled into a pouch.
Young make a 'duck-like' cry, and adults can also do so, but only rarely.