These animals are naturally born without wings on their body, and most of their relatives are also can not airborne in the air. But with thousands and thousands years of evolution and adaptation to their surroundings, they finally found the way how to “flying” without wings.

In fact, to some of these animals, the word “flying” is misleading, as they actually gliding in the air between a short to medium distance instead of really fly. They are also often called as the canopy animals.

These animals have developed some ingenious ways of travelling between tress in the forest. Flying lemurs and flying squirrels do not actually fly, but have have broad flaps of skin between their front and hind limbs to perform an artificial wings, that enable them to glide from tree to tree to escape predators or to find food.

But, flying or gliding, in general they are trully amazing animals with a distinctive ability that not many of their relatives can match. Below are the images and short descriptions about them, with further related materials and links for you to read more further.

Flying Snakes (Chrysopelea)
This animal do the fly or gliding in the air by flattening their bodies to up to twice their normal width from the back of the head to the vent. These snakes can glide better in comparison to flying squirrels and other gliding animals.

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There are five recognized species of flying snake to date. The smallest species reach about 2 feet (61 centimeters) in length and the largest grow to 4 feet (1.2 meters). According to recent research conducted by the University of Chicago, scientists discovered a co-relation between size and gliding ability, in which smaller flying snakes were able to glide longer distances horizontally.

Further read:
Wikipedia
National Geographic

Flying Lizards (Draco blanfordii)
Also often called the ‘flying dragons’ or more properly gliding lizards, this species is the widest spread among all six known species of gliding lizards. These species are able to glide because on each side of the body there is a wide flap of skin (the patagium) supported by movable elongated ribs.

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This species inhabits lowland rainforest up to around 1200 metres altitude, and ranges from southwestern China through Vietnam and Thailand to Peninsular Malaysia.

Further read:
Ecology Asia
Wikipedia

Flying Frogs (Rhacophorus)
Together with their relatives Hylidae, both species are belongs to tree frogs which is mostly spend their life at trees rather than in land water. Commonly live in India, Japan and Southeast Asia.

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The most dramatic looking frog in this genus are the Wallace’s flying frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus), a species first described by the great naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. This flying frog is distinguished from other by its large size and the black colouration of the webbing on all four feet.

Further read:
National Geographic
Ecology Asia
Wikipedia

Flying Squirrels (Sciuridae)
The oldest living line of modern squirrels (modern, as opposed to their precursors, the early-Eocene squirrel-like rodents called “paramyids”). Evidence of their relative’s existence goes back to the late Eocene period, between 38 and 55 million years ago.

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Scientifically known as Pteromyini or Petauristini, are a tribe of squirrel (family Sciuridae). There are 43 species in this tribe, the largest of which is the woolly flying squirrel (Eupetaurus cinereus). The 2 species of the genus Glaucomys (Glaucomys sabrinus and Glaucomys volans) are native to North America, and the Siberian flying squirrel is native to parts of northern Europe (Pteromys volans).

Further read:
Flying Squirrels
Ecology Asia
Wikipedia
Estonian Fund for Nature
National Geographic

Flying Lemurs (Cynocephalidae)
Also known as Colugos, flying lemurs the only mammals who can act a much closer to the definition of flying, but intrestingly, they are not the real “lemurs” like the Lemurs of Madagascar. They are “sisters” of primates, sharing a common ancestor some 80 million years ago when dinosaurs had their heyday, say US scientists.

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Colugos are arboreal gliding mammals found in South-east Asia. There are just two extant species, each in its own genus, which make up the entire family Cynocephalidae and order Dermoptera. Both species are threatened by habitat destruction, and the Philippine Flying Lemur is classified by the IUCN as vulnerable.

Further read:
BBC News
Wikipedia
Ecology Asia
Eberly College of Science
IUCN Red List

Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae)
These animals although born with two “little wings”, they are cannot fly. But in this rare footage of a colony of Adélie penguins, who was caught in BBC crews camera while filming on King George Island, some 750 miles south of the Falkland Islands, They amazingly CAN FLY. These penguins are take flight from their Antarctic wastes, and flying thousands of miles to the Amazonian rainforest.

Adélie is a type of penguin that is commonly found along the entire Antarctic coast and nearby islands. Aside from the storm petrel, they are the most southerly distributed of all seabirds. In 1830, French explorer Dumont d’Urville named them for his wife, Adélie.

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Further read:
Telegraph.co.uk
Wikipedia

Important Update – July 29th, 2008
Ok, I must add this so everything on this blog would all be the correct information from reliable sources. But regarding to the ‘Flying Penguins’ I must admit that I got badly fooled, and it was my fault at not doing the proper research for this issue, because this is hardly to believe and I was so amazed that finally ‘they’ can fly :)

Thanks to a digg friend Catherine that bring the light on this one :) and well done BBC! Nice April Fools video!

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