07 Dec 2016 in Have Fun
Did you know how many metres flying squirrels can leap between two trees? Now discover the secret of these incredible creatures!
The musasabi is one of the oldest species of flying squirrel in the world. Native to the islands of Honshū, Kyūshū and Shikoku, the musasabi often lives in conifer forests or evergreen boreal forests.
Three interesting facts about flying squirrels :
1 – The flying squirrel is a quite different animal from the squirrel.
First, its size is much larger. The musasabi, a giant species of Japan, can measure up to 80cm from head to tail. What’s more, a wide membrane, stretching from wrist to ankle, allows them to glide. Because “flying” squirrels do not fly like birds; they glide. When they launch themselves from the tree tops, they can cover a distance of 50 metres on average, but sometimes much more.
2 – Flying squirrels are herbivorous.
They feed on tree bark, pine needles, pine nuts, magnolia leaves, maple seeds, oak buds and acorns. They come out every day to look for food, but in autumn they make a store for the winter period. Because when temperatures are very cold, these creatures hibernate for several days, and only wake up to take food from the hoard they have accumulated.
3 – HOSHINOYA Karuizawa is an ideal place to observe them.
Located a few minutes from the hotel, Picchio, a centre for eco-tourism and nature preservation, offers an opportunity to watch them at nightfall, since flying squirrels are nocturnal creatures. At night, they wake up and come out of their living quarters. Thanks to a camera system installed inside the nest, viewers can watch a squirrel waking up, and follow his movements until he pokes his little head out of his nest. Then he will dash up a trunk, reach the top of the tree, and launch himself towards another tree. An amazing sight that will delight the entire family, adults and children alike.