• Species: Southern flying squirrel.

A Flying Squirrel stays inside a tree cavity in Jefferson City, MO.

A Flying Squirrel stays inside a tree cavity in Jefferson City, MO.

• Scientific name: Glaucomys volans.

• Nicknames: None.

• Claim to fame: Thanks to the animated exploits of Rocket J. Squirrel of “Rocky and Bullwinkle” fame, most people who watched cartoons in the 1960s and 1970s know there is such a creature as a flying squirrel.

Because of their nocturnal lifestyles, many area residents don’t know these small rodents are common in Missouri (including here in the Ozarks) and are active at this time of year.

• Species status: Missouri’s flying squirrel population appears to be holding steady in most parts of the state.

• First discovered: The first scientific description of the southern flying squirrel – the species found in Missouri – was written by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, but these gliding mammals were known long before that.

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