The Philippine Flying Lemur
) is one of two species of flying lemurs, the only two living species in the order Dermoptera. Additionally, it is the only member
In biology, a monotypic taxon is a taxonomic group with only one biological type. The term's usage differs slightly between botany and zoology. The term monotypic has a separate use in conservation biology, monotypic habitat, regarding species habitat conversion eliminating biodiversity and...
of the genus Cynocephalus
The Philippine Flying Lemur is endemic to the Philippines. Its population is concentrated in the Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...
region and Bohol
Bohol is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region, consisting of Bohol Island and 75 minor surrounding islands. Its capital is Tagbilaran City. With a land area of and a coastline long, Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines...
Although called a flying lemur, it cannot fly and is not a lemur
Lemurs are a clade of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. They are named after the lemures of Roman mythology due to the ghostly vocalizations, reflective eyes, and the nocturnal habits of some species...
. The Philippine Flying Lemur is one of the two living species of the order Dermoptera. The other species is the Sunda Flying Lemur
The Sunda Flying Lemur , also known as the Malayan Flying Lemur, is a species of colugo . Until recently, it was thought to be one of only two species of flying lemur, the other being the Philippine Flying Lemur which is found only in the Philippines...
An average Philippine Flying Lemur weighs about 1 to 1.7 kilograms and is 14 to 17 inches long. It has a wide head, small ears and big eyes. Its clawed feet are large and webbed for fast climbing and for gliding. Its 12-inch tail is connected to the forelimbs via a patagium
*In bats, the skin forming the surface of the wing. It is an extension of the skin of the abdomen that runs to the tip of each digit, uniting the forelimb with the body.*The patagium of a bat has four distinct parts:...
. This membrane helps it glide distances of 100 meters or more, useful for finding food and escaping predators such as the Philippine Eagle
The Philippine Eagle , also known as the Monkey-eating Eagle, is an eagle of the family Accipitridae that is endemic to forests in the Philippines. It has brown and white-coloured plumage, and a shaggy crest, and generally measures in length and weighs...
Its 34 teeth resemble those of a carnivore but the Philippine Flying Lemur eats mainly fruits, flowers and leaves. It is nocturnal and stays in hollow trees or clings on dense foliage during daytime. The female Philippine Flying Lemur usually gives birth to one young after a two-month gestation period. The young is helpless and attaches itself to its mother's belly, in a pouch fashioned from the mother's skin flaps.
The Philippine Flying Lemur is arboreal and usually resides in primary and secondary forests. However, some wander into coconut, banana and rubber plantations. They are considered pests, since they eat fruits and flowers and so, are hunted down by humans. Their flesh is also cooked as a delicacy, and their fur is used as material for native caps. The IUCN 1996 had declared the species vulnerable owing to the destruction of lowland forests and to hunting, but it was downlisted to least concern in 2008 even though it is still under the same threats as before.