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25 Mammals that Fly (A to Z List with Pictures)

25 Mammals that Fly

Examples of mammals that fly include Anomalures, Big Brown Bat, Black Flying Fox, Colugo, and Common Vampire Bat.

Mammals that fly may seem like a creature of fantasy, but there are actually quite a few species of mammals that can take to the air. From bats to flying squirrels, these animals have developed some truly unique methods of flying and soaring thru the air.

Bats are the only true flying mammals and they account for about 20% of all mammalian species. There are around 1,000 bat species in the world and they come in all shapes and sizes.

In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the most fascinating mammals that can fly.

Examples of Mammals that Fly

1. Anomalures

Scientific NameAnomaluridae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica

The anomalure is a small rodent that is found in the forests of Central and West Africa. These rodents are unique in that they have both wings and a tail that they use for flying. The anomalure can glide for up to 30 meters (100 feet) at a time, using its tail as a rudder to steer itself.

2. Big Brown Bat

Big Brown Bat
Scientific NameEptesicus fuscus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America

The big brown bat is one of the most common species of flying mammals in North America. These bats are relatively large, with a wingspan that can reach up to 16 inches. They are dark brown in color, with a furry body and small ears. Big brown bats are proficient flyers, and they use their powerful wings to travel long distances in search of food. These bats typically eat insects, and they are known to consume large numbers of mosquitoes.

3. Black Flying Fox

Black Flying Fox
Scientific NamePteropus alecto
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAustralia

The black flying fox (Pteropus alecto), is a species of flying fox in the family Pteropodidae. It is one of the largest bats in the world, with a wingspan of up to 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) and a body length of up to 60 cm (24 in). The black flying fox is found in Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

Related Article: Can Flying Fox Fly?

4. Colugo

Colugo
Scientific NameDermoptera
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesoutheastern Asia

The colugo is a small mammal that is found in the forests of Southeast Asia. Colugos are also known as “flying lemurs”, although they are not actually lemurs (a type of primate). Colugos have a furry body and a long tail, and they can reach lengths of up to 40 cm.

Colugos are excellent climbers and can move quickly thru the trees using their powerful claws. But the most interesting thing about colugos is their ability to “fly”. Colugos have a membrane of skin that extends between their legs and arms, which they use to glide thru the air. When they want to glide, they simply jump off of a tree and spread their arms and legs out to catch the wind.

5. Common Vampire Bat

Vampire Bat
Scientific NameDesmodontinae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeMexico, Central America, and South America

The Common Vampire Bat is found in Central and South America, and is the only bat species that feeds primarily on blood. These bats have razor-sharp teeth that they use to pierce their victim’s skin and drink their blood. They are capable of flying for long periods of time, and will often travel great distances in search of a meal.

6. Eastern Red Bat

Eastern Red Bat
Scientific NameLasiurus borealis
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCanada to the Atlantic Coast

One of the more common flying mammals, the Eastern red bat is found throughout much of the eastern United States. These small bats have reddish-brown fur and can reach lengths of up to 4 inches. While they are capable of true flight, Eastern red bats often prefer to glide from tree to tree in search of insects to eat.

7. Evening Bat

Evening Bat
Scientific NameNycticeius humeralis
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthwestern United States

The evening bat is a small species of bat found in the southwestern United States. These bats are capable of flying for long periods of time and can cover large distances while in the air. Evening bats typically roost in trees or under bridges during the day, and emerge at night to hunt for insects.

Read Also: Do Bats Use Echolocation?

8. Feathertail Glider

Scientific NameAcrobates pygmaeus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAustralia

The feathertail glider is a small marsupial native to Australia. This animal is one of the few mammals that can glide using its tail. The feathertail glider has a furry tail that is covered in long, stiff hairs. When the animal jumps from a high place, it spreads its tail out like a parachute and uses the air resistance to glide down to a lower level.

9. Flying Squirrels

Flying Squirrel
Scientific NamePteromyini
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeeastern United States

Flying squirrels are small, nocturnal rodents that are found in forests all over the world. They are able to glide long distances by extending their furry patagium (a wing-like structure of skin) between their front and back legs. When they want to change direction, they simply adjust the angle of their body or tail.

10. Gray Bat

Gray Bat
Scientific NameMyotis grisescens
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesoutheastern United States

The gray bat is a small species of bat that is found in the caves of the southeastern United States. These bats are well-known for their massive migration patterns, which can see them travel up to 600 miles in a single night. While they are in flight, gray bats can reach speeds of up to 30 mph.

11. Greater Bulldog Bat

Scientific NameNoctilio leporinus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeMexico to Northern Argentina

Among the largest of all bat species, the Greater Bulldog Bat is found in Central and South America. These massive bats have a wingspan of up to 4 feet and can weigh up to 2 pounds. Their large size and powerful wings allow them to fly at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. They are also able to carry prey that is up to half their own body weight.

12. Greater Glider

Scientific NamePetauroides volans
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAustralia

The greater glider is a marsupial that is found in Australia. These gliders are the largest of all the gliders and can grow up to 3 feet long. They have a furry tail that they use for balance and their large wings help them glide thru the air gracefully.

13. Hoary Bat

Hawaiian Hoary Bat
Scientific NameLasiurus cinereus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeeastern U.S

The hoary bat is a large species of bat that is found in North, Central, and South America. These bats are notable for their long, silver-tipped fur. The hoary bat is one of the few mammal species that is known to migrate long distances. Each year, these bats travel up to 3,000 miles (4,828 km) to find their way back to their roosting sites.

14. Indian Flying Fox

Indian Flying Fox
Scientific NamePteropus giganteus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeIndian Subcontinent

The Indian flying fox is a species of bat that is native to the Indian subcontinent. These bats are some of the largest in the world, with a wingspan that can reach up to six feet! They are mostly nocturnal creatures, and can often be seen roosting in trees during the day. Indian flying foxes primarily eat fruit, but they will also feed on insects and small vertebrates.

15. Indiana Bat

Indiana Bat
Scientific NameMyotis sodalis
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeeastern United States

The Indiana bat is a small, brown bat that is found throughout the eastern United States. This species is unique in that it is the only mammal in the United States that can fly. The Indiana bat is capable of flying long distances by using its wings to create lift and steering with its tail. This bat uses a variety of techniques to navigate its way through the air, including echolocation.

16. Kitti’s Hog-Nosed Bat

Scientific NameCraseonycteris thonglongyai
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangewestern Thailand

Kitti’s hog-nosed bat is a small species of bat found in Thailand and Myanmar. These bats are interesting for a few reasons, including their unique nose shape which gives them their name. But what’s really fascinating about Kitti’s hog-nosed bats is that they are the smallest mammal in the world that is capable of flight. These delicate creatures have a wingspan of only about 6 inches, and they weigh less than a penny.

17. Large Flying Foxes

Large Flying Fox
Scientific NamePteropus vampyrus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeMalay Peninsula

One of the largest flying mammals in the world is the Large Flying Fox. These massive bats have a wingspan that can reach up to six feet, and they are native to tropical areas of Asia, Australia, and Africa. Large Flying Foxes primarily eat fruits and flowers, and they use their powerful sense of smell to locate food sources.

18. Little Brown Bat

Little Brown Bat
Scientific NameMyotis lucifugus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangenorthern United States into Canada

The little brown bat is a small species of bat that is found in North America. These bats are one of the most common types of bats in the world and are known for their ability to fly long distances. These bats typically eat insects, but can also consume other small animals.

19. Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

Scientific NameTadarida brasiliensis
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangewestern United States

The Mexican free-tailed bat is a species of bat that is found in the southern and western United States, as well as Mexico. These bats are some of the largest bats in North America, with a wingspan of up to 16 inches. They are also some of the fastest flyers, reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.

20. Microbats

Microbat
Scientific NameMicrochiroptera
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide

Microbats are the only group of mammals that can truely fly. Using their powerful wings, they are able to take off from the ground and stay in the air for long periods of time. While most microbats feed on insects, some species are known to eat small vertebrates, such as lizards and frogs.

21. Northern Ghost Bat

Scientific NameDiclidurus albus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAustralia

The northern ghost bat is a species of flying fox that is found in Australia. These bats get their name from their white-ish fur and their spooky, transparent wings. Ghost bats are the largest species of microbat in the world, with a wingspan of up to 1.5 meters (5 feet). These massive bats can fly up to speeds of 60 kilometers (37 miles) per hour and can travel long distances in a single flight.

22. Scaly-Tailed Flying Squirrels

Scientific NameIdiurus zenkeri
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica

Scaly-tailed flying squirrels are found in Africa and are the only type of mammal that can glide without the use of wings. They have a special membrane between their front and back legs that allows them to glide up to distances of 330 feet. When they want to turn, they simply adjust the position of their tails.

23. Sifaka

Sifaka
Scientific NamePropithecus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeMadagascar

The sifaka is a type of lemur that is native to the island of Madagascar. These animals are proficient climbers and can often be seen leaping from tree to tree in search of food. However, what sets the sifaka apart from other lemurs is its ability to glide thru the air. When jumping from a high place, the sifaka will spread out its arms and legs to form a sort of parachute. This allows the animal to float safely to the ground below, often covering a distance of up to 50 feet.

24. Spectral Bat

Scientific NameVampyrum spectrum
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthern Mexico, through Central America, and into South America

The spectral bat is a small mammal with a wingspan of about 9 inches. These bats are found in the tropical forests of South and Central America. Spectral bats have large eyes and long, narrow faces. Their fur is reddish-brown in color, with lighter tips on their wings.

25. Sugar Glider

Sugar Glider
Scientific NamePetaurus breviceps
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAustralia

The Sugar Glider is a small marsupial that is native to Australia and Indonesia. They are named for their love of eating sugar and their ability to glide through the air. Sugar gliders can leap from high up in a tree and spread out their furry skin flaps to glide for up to 150 feet. They use their tail as a rudder to steer themselves as they fly and often land in the same tree they took off from.

Related Article: Do Sugar Glider Eat Plants?

Conclusion

Bats, squirrels, and other small mammals have adapted to flying in different ways. Whether it’s through gliding, powered flight, or using their wings to steer themselves thru the trees, these creatures have found a way to overcome the challenge of taking to the air.

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