The truth is that there are millions of species of animals around the world, more or less known. Some creatures are still waiting to be discovered by researchers. However, the idea is that when it comes to flying animals, most people think about various bird species, bats, or insects, but the animal kingdom is actually full of surprises and amazing creatures with impressive superpowers.
That being said, the list is not limited to just these flying animals, and in general, Mother Nature has been very generous with these wild creatures, giving this superpower to many other animal species as well.
Of course, there are animals that have this feature more developed than others, which means that they can fly long distances and at equally high speeds, unlike others. For example, you can’t compare the ability of a pigeon to travel long distances with the short journey of a flying spider, which can actually fly, but only short distances.
So, here are some animals you had no idea could fly! Read on to find out more info!
The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)
This flying animal is an upland ground bird that can be found in North America and is also the heaviest species of turkey in the order Galliformes. They are closely related to the domestic turkey. Male wild turkeys are polygamous, which means that they can mate with as many hens as they can throughout their lives.
The predators of their eggs include raccoons, gray foxes, groundhogs, Virginia opossums, and other rodents.
However, what many people don’t know about these flying animals is that they are actually fast fliers, even though they can weigh up to 11 kg (24 pounds).
The wild turkey flies close to the ground for no more than 400 m. Although they usually have good vision, things can change at night. Unfortunately, they can become an easy victim of predators at night.
According to animal experts, the wild turkey can reach up to 55 miles per hour (90 km per hour). In addition, their relatives, the domestic turkey, can’t fly.
The colugo can glide 330 feet between trees, making it one of the most talented gliding mammals. It’s found in the region of Southeast Asia and is sometimes called the flying lemur. This flying animal can be compared to a flying squirrel.
The colugo’s tail and limbs are long and slender, and its feet are wide and have sharp recurved claws, making it easier for them to climb. Its weightless skeleton and wide surface area perfectly equip this flying animal for gliding.
Colugos also have enormous eyes that give them brilliant depth perception, helping them fly between trees effortlessly and land safely. They’re such skilled gliders that they can transport their babies to their stomachs until they’re old enough to glide independently. Colugos eat leaves, saps, and shoots.
They have comb-shaped teeth, and scientists believe that those teeth act as food strainers or scrapers or can be used for grooming to remove parasites from their fur. Hunting, habitat fragmentation, and deforestation are threatening their numbers, though. So who knows how much longer they’ll still be around!
Chrysopelea, also known as the flying snake, belongs to the family Colubridae. Although they are venomous creatures, their venom is dangerous only to their small prey. The flying snake can be found in China, India, and Sri Lanka.
They are diurnal creatures, which means that these flying animals catch their prey during the day. Their diet consists of lizards, birds, bats and various rodents.
According to University of Chicago scientist, Jake Socha, Ph.D., “Despite their lack of wing-like appendages, flying snakes are skilled aerial locomotors.” Their flight technique involves flattening their bodies into C shape waves.
First of all, it’s important to understand that ‘ballooning’ is a flying process adopted by certain species of spiders, such as Erigone atra, and Cyclosa turbinata, but people usually call them ‘ballooning spiders’. So, in other words, ‘ballooning spider’ is a term that describes a process by which several species of spiders can fly, so it is not a species per se.
That being said, by this process, this flying animal can move through the air forming one or more gossamer threads to catch the wind – just like Spiderman.
Also, electric currents provide enough force to lift them in the air, or at least that’s what researchers say.
More than that, they can cover distances from a few meters to hundreds of kilometers. So, if you have a phobia of spiders, you should know that they can be literally anywhere. According to a 1920s-1930s study, 1 in every 17 invertebrates caught in the air is a spider, and out of 28,739 specimens, 1,401 were spiders.
If that little bit of information just freaked you out, you might want to invest in some pest repeller for your home, so you don’t have to deal with this type of flying animal. We recommend THIS one from Amazon!
Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus)
The Japanese flying squid is a member of the family Ommastrephidae. It seems that the flying squid can live in waters from 5 to 27 °C. Unfortunately, they can only survive for a year. According to researchers, the flying squid feed on phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish and crustaceans. They can become cannibals, especially when they are caught in nets.
This type of flying animal can glide for up to 30 meters and at 11.2 meters per second. They have developed this behavior as a defense mechanism to get rid of predators and save energy because they travel a lot.
Draco is a genus of agamid lizards that are also known as flying lizards. They are related to iguanas. These cute lizards can literally fly, because they use their ribs and membrane to create wings. Draco lizards can glide more than 50 meters. They can be found in the forests and teak plantations of South Asia.
This flying animal adopts this mechanism, especially when it has to get rid of predators to find mates and food. Also, they tend to be territorial creatures, which means that they will fly from tree to tree to protect their territory.
Flying fish is a term used to describe some species of marine fish in the family Exocoetidae, in the order Beloniformes class Actinopterygii. Of course, they can’t fly just like birds, but they can actually make powerful leaps out of the water. After this process, their fins that look like wings actually enable gliding for long distances above the surface of the water.
Just like any other animal with a defense mechanism, they have developed this superpower to get rid of predators, including mackerel, tuna, swordfish, marlin and so on. Unfortunately, while in the air, most of these flying animals end up being eaten by birds, such as frigate birds. This type of fish can live in all oceans, mostly in tropical and warm subtropical waters.
Did you find our post on flying animals interesting? If so, we think you’ll also get a kick out of another fascinating series of facts about the wildlife relatively close to our homes: 8 Fascinating Animals That Have Created Their Own Life Hacks