Colugo, Flying Lemur Skull BC-049
2 ½" L x 1 ¼" W x 1 ½" H 6.6L x 4.2W x 3.9H (cm)
Little is known about these odd little nocturnal 2 to 4 pound animals called colugos. They were once erroneously thought to be related to lemurs and are still commonly (but wrongly) called flying lemurs, but they are neither lemurs nor do they fly. Awkward climbers who reportedly never descend to the ground, colugos (aka cobegos) are gliding mammals in the order Dermoptera (skin wing). The two species in this order are so named for the large membranous flaps of skin stretched between their front and hind limbs, called the patagium. The patagium enables them to glide effortlessly, in a parachute-like fashion, up to 350 feet between tree top perches. It also serves well as a sleeping "blanket" and as a rudimentary pouch for mothers carrying babies. The colugo's dentition is very unusual and interesting. The lower incisors are flat and split into many "tine-like forks," very similar to the teeth of a hair comb. They have no upper incisors, just a ridged palate. This unusual tooth structure is used for specialized feeding and/or grooming activities. Colugos also constitute a very large part of the critically endangered Philippine crested eagle's diet and their survival is interdependent. 2-part skull (separate cranium & jaw).