Weird News: Humongous, Chihuahua-Sized Species of Flying Squirrel Has Been Discovered in China - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Weird NewsHumongous, Chihuahua-Sized Species of Flying Squirrel Has Been Discovered in China

05:35  25 july  2019
05:35  25 july  2019 Source:   mentalfloss.com

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Scientists have discovered a new species of flying squirrel in Southwest China . Recently, researchers discovered what appeared to be a Biswamoyopterus specimen while surveying collections of the Kunming Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

There are 52 species of flying squirrels in the world. The little nocturnal omnivores inhabit most of Earth's forests The Chinese flying squirrel isn’t the only rodent recently added to the tree of life. His work has appeared in Discover , Popular Science, Outside, Men’s Journal, and other magazines.

Humongous, Chihuahua-Sized Species of Flying Squirrel Has Been Discovered in China © shabeerthurakkal/iStock via Getty Images Humongous, Chihuahua-Sized Species of Flying Squirrel Has Been Discovered in China

Flying squirrels can be found in most of Earth’s forests, but you probably wouldn’t be able to actually find one—the elusive little mammals are so good at flying under the radar that scientists have a hard time studying them.

That’s why, when Quan Li of the Kunming Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences spotted a strange-looking squirrel specimen in the institute’s collection last year, he thought it was just a variation of the rare Namdapha flying squirrel, a species in the Biswamoyopterus genus. Upon further investigation, Smithsonian.com reports, he realized the differences were considerable enough that it must be a previously unknown species within the same genus.

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At first, Researchers thought it was one of the previously known species . But it's coloration and skull shape Are evidence of Seperate Speciation. I state that I have a good faith belief that use of the work(s) in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

Flying squirrels (scientifically known as Pteromyini or Petauristini) are a tribe of 50 species of squirrels in the family Sciuridae. They are not capable of flight in the same way as birds or bats but

The new species (called Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis, or the Mount Gaoligong flying squirrel, after the region where it was first discovered) has bi-colored ear tufts, a dark brown scrotum, a white belly, and a shorter, wider skull than other close relatives. Like its relatives, the new guy weighs between 3 and 4 pounds, or about the size of a Chihuahua.

Humongous, Chihuahua-Sized Species of Flying Squirrel Has Been Discovered in China © Provided by Sportority, Inc. (Mental Floss) Mount Gaoligong flying squirrel

Part of the reason that Quan Li first misidentified the squirrel he saw as a Namdapha squirrel is because we don’t know that much about Namdapha squirrels—scientists have only ever spotted one of them, in 1981. It’s critically endangered due to hunting and habitat loss.

To study the new flying squirrel species further, Quan Li and his colleagues traveled to Mount Gaoligong in Yunnan Province in southwest China, where the specimen had been collected before being brought to the institute. There, they were able to obtain another Mount Gaoligong flying squirrel specimen, as well as observe two others.

The area in which the new species was found is within the 777-mile-long region between where the Namdapha squirrel was first observed in 1981 in India, and where a specimen from the Laotian giant flying squirrel (the other known species in the Biswamoyopterus genus) was observed in 2013. This “suggests that the genus is much more widespread than we previously thought,” Quan Li said in a statement announcing the finding.

Quan Li and his team are hoping to discover more squirrels in the area, and soon. Because these squirrels inhabit low-altitude forests near human settlements, they’re extra-susceptible to poaching or habitat destruction.

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