Flying Squirrels are the smallest of all tree dwelling squirrels. It is difficult to identify the differences between the two species of Flying Squirrels that are found in the United States. The Northern Flying Squirrel and the Southern Flying Squirrel look almost exactly alike. The Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel and the Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel are two sub-species of the Southern Flying Squirrel found in North America which are on the endangered list.
Flying Squirrels are most active at night after the sun sets and before the sun rises because they are nocturnal. Flying Squirrels do not actually fly as their name implies but glide as they stretch out all four legs which opens up excess fur covered skin which is located above their front foot to above their back foot on both the left and right side. This excess fury covered skin allows them to glide up to 65 to 80 feet on average from one tree to another but have been observed gliding an impressive 270 feet. This incredible ability allows them to stay high in the tree canopy without touching the ground for long periods of time. They are able to influence the direction in which they are gliding by slightly moving their legs and adjusting the tightness of the excess fury skin that allows them to glide. The tail is also used to help direct their landing and to slow them down and to bring them to a stop.