Slithering on Air: Flying snakes glide through the treetops

1:27pm, August 7, 2002

Tree-climbing animals that can fly or glide are more likely than others to survive a fall. Though only birds, insects, and bats can truly fly, many animals, such as flying squirrels and flying lizards, have evolved wing-like flaps of skin for floating–at least briefly–on air.

Snakes generally aren't well suited for flight. So, scientists had assumed that snakes that move through air are merely parachuting from tall trees. However, a new study demonstrates that at least one species of flying snake does glide, and it does so nearly as well as other gliding animals.

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