Siberian Flying Squirrels Are The Best Thing You'll See Today (Or Ever)

A Siberian flying squirrel (Pteromys volans) Jinnnnnnnnnn/Shutterstock

Pokemon are real, or at least one is.

The Siberian flying squirrel, also known as the Russian flying squirrel, is a cartoonishly adorable mammal that we feel duty bound to inform you about

With their preternaturally huge black eyes and permanently upturned mouth, it is easy to see why this species has developed a following among cuteness connoisseurs

However, given that they are nocturnal, incapable of being housebroken, and – most importantly – not domesticated, it is best to leave these fluffy little nuggets in the wild and appreciate them from a respectful distance ranging from 3 meters (10 feet) to thousands of miles away on the Internet.

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Native to the chilly forests of northern Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Mongolia, parts of mainland Asia, and Japan (alongside their look-a-like cousin, the Japanese flying squirrel), Pteromys Volans spends its nights hopping and gliding between trees in search of tasty leaves, seeds, berries, catkins, and the occasional pilfered egg. Measuring in at 13-20 centimeters (5-8 inches) in length, not including their tails, and weighing about 150 grams (5.3 ounces), the squirrels are tiny enough to curl up inside natural tree crevices or those left behind by overzealous woodpeckers.

If you are planning on actually heading into nature to try to spot one, keep an eye out for cozy-sized holes in large trees – mainly aspen, birch, and alder – within woodlands composed of a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees. 

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You will, however, need to research the area beforehand to check whether or not it is a mature or recovering forest. The Siberian flying squirrel, adapted to live in old-growth forests, has lost chunks of its historical range due to extensive logging. According to the IUCN Red List, the species is no longer found in Belarus or Lithuania, and is in decline in the majority of its other regions.

Yet, fortunately for all us humans who need to look at photos and videos of precious fuzzy critters on a daily basis in order to cope with the soul-crushing drudgery that is modern life, the population numbers are still strong enough that, overall, the squirrel is classified as a species of least concern.

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Now, click away from the world news and watch this very important video about flying squirrel flight capabilities.

 

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