Fun Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel Facts For Kids

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The Japanese giant flying squirrel (Petaurista leucogenys) is a giant flying squirrel, a 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 days and hide in the day. 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.


Fun Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Leaves, grains, nuts, roots, wood, bark, flowers, fruits, and seeds

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

1.5-3.3 lb (0.7-1.5 kg)

How long are they?

21.6-35.4 in ( 55-90 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Brown, black, chestnut, and yellow-gray

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

And Mountains, Hills, Tropical And Temperate Forest


Japan And China









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) are 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 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 offsprings 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.

The highest recorded elevation these species reach is 160 m.

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 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 their 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 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, Spotted giant flying squirrel, Hodgson's giant flying squirrel, Bhutan giant flying squirrel, and 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 squirrel 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, the parent species of a Japanese giant flying squirrel. If you have an image of a Japanese giant flying squirrel please let us know at [email protected]

If someone on our team is always keen to learn and grow, then it has to be Arpitha. She realized that starting early would help her gain an edge in her career, so she applied for internship and training programs before graduation. By the time she completed her B.E. in Aeronautical Engineering from Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020, she had already gained much practical knowledge and experience. Arpitha learned about Aero Structure Design, Product Design, Smart Materials, Wing Design, UAV Drone Design, and Development while working with some leading companies in Bangalore. She has also been a part of some notable projects, including Design, Analysis, and Fabrication of Morphing Wing, where she worked on new age morphing technology and used the concept of corrugated structures to develop high-performance aircraft, and Study on Shape Memory Alloys and Crack Analysis Using Abaqus XFEM that focused on 2-D and 3-D crack propagation analysis using Abaqus.

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