11 Animals You Didn't Know Could Fly

<p> Flickr/w_yiwen </p>
<p> Flickr/w_yiwen </p>

Not a bird? No problem. Several species can achieve takeoff using their skin, ribs and even silk to glide through air. These animals take the phrase "when pigs fly" to heart!

1. Malabar gliding frog

wikipedia/L. Shyamal

The Malabar gliding frog can use his webbed feet to trap air like a parachute. At any threat of danger, the frog can plummet down from treetops - quite the feat for an animal who's only 4 inches long!

2. Flying squirrel

wikimedia/Ken Thomas

The southern flying squirrel has a layer of skin on either side of his body that allows him to travel 30 feet without touching the ground. The skin acts like a flexible parachute while the squirrel's flat tail is used as a rudder. For a dramatic entrance, the squirrel can increase his gliding potential by jumping from trees, covering nine times his normal flying limit.

Flickr/Malcolm Tattersall

In order to fly, spiders secrete small strands of silk that get picked up by gusts of wind. With lightweight bodies and stretchy silk, these spiders can travel for miles.

4. The Draco lizard


When we talk about the Draco lizard, we are not referring Draco Malfoy, Quidditch player from team Slytherin. Thanks to long flaps of skin attached to its ribs, this fluttering fairy can glide to find food and mates, all without the use of J.K.Rowling's magnificent prose.

5. Turkeys

Flickr/Vicki DeLoach

Sometimes the most surprising of facts hides in plain sight. Turkeys can fly at speeds of 55 miles per hour, but much prefer to remain on the ground. Domestic turkeys are usually too heavy to stay in the air for long.

6. Colugo


Colugos have a layer of skin attached to their limbs that allows them to stay airborne for more than 300 feet. With amazing flying talent wrapped into an adorable primate body, the colugo may be the closest thing we have to flying monkeys.

7. Kuhl's flying gecko

Flickr/Bernard DUPONT

The Kuhl's flying gecko can live more than 10 feet above the ground, hidden in forest trees. This gecko has stretchy skin on either side of his body, which allows him some temporary air time. For an animal who spends all day eating bugs, this flying gecko is actually pretty kuhl.

8. Feathertail glider


The feathertail glider is a marsupial the size of a small rodent. He can cover 25 meters in one fell swoop - impressive for a creature whose body length doesn't exceed 3 inches. These marsupials can live in families of 30, with mothers taking care of each other's children.

9. Mobula ray

Flickr/Nick Bonzey

This picture isn't the product of a green screen. This Mobula ray is actually airborne! These gliding fish have a wingspan of 6 feet or more and congregate in the thousands.


For being sea creatures, Mobula rays get some pretty good air!

naturezaeconservacao.eco.br/Marcelino, D.G.

Snakes from the genus Chrysopelia are capable of gliding through the air. Flying snakes stretch their bodies out after willingly dropping from branches, allowing wind to be collected against their skin.


These snakes can stay airborne for 330 feet and can give a nasty bite when confronted with prey like bats and lizards.

11. Gliding ants

Flickr/Graham Wise

There are many ants who use wings to fly, but gliding ants take skydiving to a whole new level as they free fall through Peruvian rain forests. There are at least 25 species of ant that use gliding as a form of transportation.


These ants can even control the direction they are traveling in while flying, so be sure to cover your picnic baskets!