Super Smooth Superman (The Flying Squirrel)

Opening an article is always weird. Or is it a blog post? I know there’s a difference between an article and a blog post; I’m just not entirely sure what it is. Something about “voice” and “research” and other nonsense. I mean I do do (hehe, doodoo) research on the animals I write about, but it really isn’t that intensive and I give up after about 20 minutes. If only there was a way to gain information about animals without it being so tedious and boring. And thus, Animals Are Rad was born.

Origin stories aside, I’m surprised there isn’t a superhero named The Flying Squirrel. Sure, there’s Squirrel Girl, but I think we really lost a great team member is never coming up with a The Flying Squirrel superhero. His powers would be that he is the human version of a flying squirrel; he looks human, but does all this squirrel shit. Actually, that would be terrible. Well maybe only some of it. Let’s explore why.

The flying squirrel flies, glides, whatever.

Southern Flying Squirrel (Photo Credit: Joe McDonald)

A flying squirrel is a mostly nocturnal animal, which would be perfectly suited for crime fighting. It lives in holes and nests during the day, and comes out to forage at night. Mild mannered John Hughs is an accountant by day, but by night, transforms into THE FLYING SQUIRREL. Really the transformation is just a costume change. His costume would be one of those hang gliding suits insane people wear. You know the one. Yeah. This is the only way to accurately translate the flying squirrel’s actual power of flight, because it is exactly not that. The flying squirrel does not possess the ability for powered flight, like a bird or a bat, but instead gliiiiiides through the air using a membrane connecting its hands to its feet.

THE FLYING SQUIRREL, the superhero, would develop an uncanny taste for the following items: seeds, insects, slugs, snails (which is just a slug with a house), spiders, shrubs, flowers, fungi, and tree sap. If you think a human being cannot sustain himself for very long on this limited diet, then you are absolutely correct! That’s part of THE FLYING SQUIRREL’s powers; he can survive on a squirrel’s diet. So really, he’s useless in a fight. Flying squirrels aren’t territorial, so they don’t fight with each other, so there is no fighting superpower to gain. Poor mild mannered John Hughs, such a useless superhero.

Flight is very important for the flying squirrel (duh). Gliding is important for covering a large area while foraging, increasing the forage yield. Gliding will actually conserve energy over running, so it’s easier for the flying squirrel to glide around rather than sprinting. When they glide, they steer partly with their tail, like a rudder, and partly by moving their outstretched legs to affect the membrane they use to glide. And let me tell you, they are majestic as fuck, like watching the smoothest guy you know play saxophone and then hit on three girls at once. So THE FLYING SQUIRREL has that going for him.

Now I also have sad news. It seems that the male flying squirrels are not interested in the babies they make. Yes, once a baby is born, the mother nurtures and protects them  until they are ready to go out on their own. The daddies take no part in rearing the child. So, THE FLYING SQUIRREL has the power of disappointing birthdays. OK, that was a little heavy handed.

Also, the Flying Squirrels are a minor league baseball team in Richmond, Virginia. So if you’re there, say hello to them for me. They’ll have no idea who I am, but it’d be nice of you to do.

Flying squirrels are awesome, but maybe not so great for a superhero. What do you think? Would you want THE FLYING SQUIRREL’s powers? Let me know in the comments. Also, do me a quick fave and post this on your Facebook so I get famous. Kthanxbai.

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