The Ezo Momonga anime-looking flying squirrel is so cute!
This rare dwarf flying squirrel lives only on Hokkaido, in Japan and we think it looks like a Pokemon! It doesn’t really fly but because of a membrane connecting its wrists and ankles, it can glide up to 100 meters at a time and that helps them escape any predators.
The Ezo momonga (pteromys volans) and is a smaller type of the Siberian flying squirrel, but this species is native to Japan.
Its anime-like cuteness comes from its small size which is about 5-8 inches (127-203mm) and its fluffy tail which is around 3.5 to 5.55 inches (90mm-140mm) and large expressive eyes. The tails help these little guys keep their balance as they land, kind of like acting as an air brake.
They are strictly nocturnal and spend most of the night snacking on buds on twigs high up in the canopy but as dawn breaks, they retreat back to the safety of their nests in a tree hollow. Sometimes if a bird before dawn breaks, the squirrel thinks the light is about to break so they scurry back to their nest.
What’s really funny is that they usually eat hanging upside down and just reach out left or right or up and down to grab something to eat. It’d be like you sitting on your couch watching tv and to get food all you have to do is just reach out around you.
Momonga mums are very attentive to their babies and groom them and feed them for the first 6 weeks, but no one seems to know if the dads participate in looking after the babies.
These squirrels are quite important to the islands’ environment as they eat a heap of pine seeds, which then disperse throughout the region as they poop and which means more pine trees can grow, so they get more food.
Unique fact: Humans have tried to imitate flying squirrels when creating gliding suits. Of course, we don’t do it as well!