Man captures multiple shots of colugos sailing through air in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve


Ashley Tan | October 24, 2021, 11:58 AM

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Colugos are a pretty common creature native to Singapore.

Here's what they look like.

The position they're most often seen in is clinging against the side of a tree.

It is rarer however, to see them in action flying through treetops.

Filmed videos close to nightfall

One Woo Jia Wei managed to capture several instances of colugos hopping from tree to tree and gliding through the air at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, which he shared on Facebook.

This was not an easy a feat as simply holding out one's camera.

Woo shared that to avoid significant motion blur of the moving animal, he had to film at a shutter speed of 1/80.

His initial video was also too dark as it was filmed close to evening, and it took editing and post-processing to increase the brightness enough.

This is the final result, a short compilation of colugos sailing through the air, shot without the use of any flashlight or night vision equipment.

Video from Woo Jia Wei / FB

The colugo's patagium, or the thin membrane between its arms that help it glide, on full display.

Video from Woo Jia Wei / FB


By gliding from tree to tree, colugos can reach distances of up to 70m this way without losing much altitude.

The animals are extremely awkward on the ground and vulnerable on the ground, which makes gliding their preferred mode of transport.

A colugo neither squirrel nor some sort of arboreal (tree-dwelling) cat.

Instead, their closest evolutionary relatives are primates. Although they are occasionally called flying lemurs due to their physical resemblance, colugos are not actually lemurs.

Their habit of gliding, however, has gotten them into trouble before when venturing out of the forest.

Individuals have ventured too far into urban areas, such as this colugo which accidentally landed and got stuck on some barbed wire.

And this one found clinging onto a bus for dear life.

Thankfully, both of them were subsequently rescued.

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Top photo from Woo Jia Wei / FB