This animal is called a flying squirrel. Gliding squirrel would be a more accurate name, though, because of the way this squirrel travels through the night sky. When it leaps into the air, the flying squirrel extends its legs and the fold of skin that stretches from its wrists to its ankles so that its body becomes a parachute! Using its flat tailthat can turn 180 degrees!as a rudder to steer through air currents, the flying squirrel can then glide through the air. While other mammals glide in the air, the Northern Gliding Squirrel may be one of the best or, at least, one of the more daring ones! It can glide through the air for up to 150 feet. Thats like jumping from a 15-story building and landing safely on the ground!
Illustration of the Oregon Flying Squirrel from John James Audubons The Quadrupeds of North America, 1854-1856.