Fun Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel Facts For Kids

Arpitha Rajendra
May 10, 2023 By Arpitha Rajendra
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Tehil David
Interesting Japanese giant flying squirrel facts.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.3 Min

The Japanese giant flying squirrel (Petaurista leucogenys) is a giant flying squirrel, species of flying squirrels. They belong to the genus Petaurista and order Rodentia. As the name suggests, they mainly occupy the forests of Japan.

The diet of the Japanese giant flying squirrel consists chiefly of fruits and seeds. These squirrel species are active during the day and hide at night.

So, it is difficult to spot them out in the wild. They have black, brown, yellow-gray, and chestnut-colored back fur. They have bilateral symmetry.

The tail of these squirrels is as long as their body, the total length ranging from 21.6-35.4 in (55-90 cm) long. They are found at an elevation between 98-150 m. These species have also been spotted near human settlements.

These squirrels are hunted by humans for food. Other than this, they hide well from their predators. These squirrels scramble on lethal branches, as per 2003 research.

If you find these facts on the Petaurista leucogenys interesting then, you may also like to read facts on the flying squirrel and fox squirrel.

Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel?

The Japanese giant flying squirrel is a type of rodent.

What class of animal does a Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel belong to?

The Japanese giant flying squirrel (Petaurista leucogenys) belongs to the Mammal class of animals.

How many Japanese Giant Flying Squirrels are there in the world?

The exact number of these Japanese giant flying squirrel (Petaurista leucogenys) species is unknown.

Where does a Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel live?

The Japanese giant flying squirrel (Petaurista leucogenys) is found in the forests of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu in Japan. In China, they occupy Guangzhou.

What is a Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel's habitat?

The Japanese giant flying squirrel (Petaurista leucogenys) occupies a wide range of forests in Japan and South Asia. They are found in sub-alpine and boreal evergreen forests in Japan. They prefer various trees like coniferous and deciduous trees.

The ranges of the homes of these species include 12 acres and 5 hectares. These species are also found in tropical and temperate forests, hills, and mountains. The male has about two hectares and the female has about one hectare.

They are active at night looking for food. These Petaurista genus species rest in hollow branches and trees during the day. These species spend most of their time on trees. They glide from tree to tree, which allows them to inhabit a range of areas.

Who do Japanese Giant Flying Squirrels live with?

The Japanese giant flying squirrels live on their own or in social groups. Their behavior is generally territorial, and during the breeding season, they become more territorial. The behavior of these squirrels is mostly peaceful within groups of their kind.

How long does a Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel live?

In captivity, Japanese giant flying squirrels have an average lifespan of about 19 years. The lifespan of these species in the wild is unknown.

How do they reproduce?

The Japanese giant flying squirrels have one mate at a time. They reach sexual maturity at about two years. The males compete from winter to early summer for females.

They have two mating seasons, winter and summer. After ejaculation during mating, the male's coitus plug blocks the female's vagina. This is done to increase the chances of fertilization and to prevent other males from mating with the same female. The females produce about two or three offspring per breeding season.

The incubation period is around 74 days. The young ones stay with the female until they reach sexual maturity. The young Japanese giant flying squirrels leave the nest in 59 or more days.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Japanese giant flying squirrels is listed as Least Concern. Two of the giant flying squirrel species are Threatened or Endangered.

Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel Fun Facts

What do Japanese Giant Flying Squirrels look like?

This species is the largest of the flying squirrels and their family Sciuridae. They have brown, black, yellow-gray, and chestnut-colored soft and long fur on their back. They have a buff, brown, yellow, or white ventral surface.

A web-like membrane extends from their wrists to the ankle on the side, which allows them to glide. These species have longer limbs than the non-flying species.

The nine carpal bones with long cartilage on the wrists support their membrane during gliding. They have a raccoon-like face color with bands that are black around their eyes. They have pink noses and mouths.

A Japanese giant flying squirrel peeking out of a hole in a wall.

How cute are they?

The giant Japanese flying squirrel is quite cute as it is a fluffy creature with a small face and pink nose. It is also quite strange-looking when it glides from tree to tree.

How do they communicate?

They have big black eyes that they heavily rely on. They also communicate through touch, olfaction, and hearing. They have high-pitched calls that are similar to a bird's call.

How big is a Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel?

The total average of the Japanese giant flying squirrel size is 21.6-35.4 in (55-90 cm). The body of these species is around 9.8-20 in (25-50 cm) and the tail is 11.8-15.7 in (30-40 cm) long.

How fast can a Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel move?

The exact gliding speed of this animal species is unknown. They can travel distances between 364-2064 ft (111-620 m) by gliding. They mostly take smaller glides as it is efficient, and they can reach more trees.

How much does a Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel weigh?

The Japanese giant flying squirrels weigh 1.5-3.3 lb (0.7-1.5 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name given to females or males.

What would you call a baby Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel?

There is no specific name given to a baby Japanese giant flying squirrel. They are often referred to as juveniles or young Japanese giant flying squirrels.

What do they eat?

They eat leaves, grains, nuts, roots, wood, bark, flowers, fruits, woody plant parts, and seeds.

Are they dangerous?

No. They are not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

No. These species of flying squirrels are wild animals. They are more comfortable and prefer being in forests around trees. As their name implies, they need a good habitat range where they can glide from tree to tree.

Did you know...

The flying squirrels can glow at night, as per the Journal of Mammalogy report.

The maximum glide elevation is about 300 ft and can also turn up to 180 degrees.

Humans have replicated this flying or rather a gliding technique of these squirrels. The gliding suit allows them to maneuver as it slows their descent.

Do Japanese Giant Flying Squirrels bite?

Yes. They bite only when they are threatened or provoked though. Also, while feeding, they cannot differentiate between the food and the hand.

It is always advised not to feed these wild species. Some diseases caused by any squirrel's bite are Rabies, Lyme disease, Salmonella, Tularemia, and Leptospirosis. Some symptoms are skin rashes or ulcers, headache, fatigue, vomiting, and fever. The chance of rabies being spread to a human is low.

It is easy to identify as the squirrel will show signs of rabies. You can treat squirrel bites at home. If the bite seems too extensive then it is advised to visit the emergency clinic.

Comparisons with other Giant Flying Squirrels

Some other species of giant flying squirrels are the Red and white giant flying squirrel, the Spotted giant flying squirrel, Hodgson's giant flying squirrel, the Bhutan giant flying squirrel, and the Red giant flying squirrel. There are eight species of giant flying squirrels.

The Japanese giant flying squirrel scrambles more than the Amazon dwarf squirrel and Northern Amazon red squirrel for foraging among lethal branches.

The Red and white giant flying squirrels mainly inhabit regions in China whereas the Japanese giant flying squirrels are found around Japan.

The spotted, Bhutan, and Red giant flying squirrels are mainly found from Indian Himalayas to Southeast Asia.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the American Marten, or black rat.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Japanese giant flying squirrel coloring pages.

*Please note that the main image is of a Southern flying squirrel and not a Japanese giant flying squirrel. If you have a royalty-free image of a Japanese giant flying squirrel, please let us know at hello@kidadl.com 

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Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_giant_flying_squirrel

https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Petaurista_leucogenys/

https://animalia.bio/japanese-giant-flying-squirrel

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_giant_flying_squirrel

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Written by Arpitha Rajendra

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

Arpitha Rajendra picture

Arpitha RajendraBachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.

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Fact-checked by Tehil David

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Tehil David picture

Tehil DavidBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Tehil David Singh is a fact checker with a Bachelor's degree in English literature from St.Xavier's College, Palayamkottai, and a Master's degree in Philosophy, and Religion from Madurai Kamaraj University. He has a passion for writing and hopes to become a story writer in the future. Tehil has previously interned in content writing and has been a content creator for the last three years. In his personal life, he enjoys singing, songwriting, performing, and writing stories.

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