The animal on the cover of 60 Recipes for Apache CloudStack is a Virginia Northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus), a subspecies of the Northern flying squirrel. Related subspecies of flying squirrel are found across North America in Canada and all but the southernmost United States. Mixed and coniferous forests provide suitable habitats for the Northern flying squirrel, which requires generous tree growth for its preferred form of travel.
The flying squirrel does not fly so much as glide, aided in its graceful descent by the patagium, a loose flap of skin stretching between the fore and hind leg on either side of its body. It can launch itself from a treetop from both standing and running positions and adjusts its pitch with a quick flick of its tail to ensure a smooth landing on the trunk of a new tree. Research suggests that the flying squirrel’s ability to glide between trees has evolved as a form of locomotion more physiologically economical than movement on all fours across the forest floor.
Flying squirrels are nocturnal and do not hibernate. They have been known to enjoy truffles and other fungi as well as mast. Their living quarters in the cavities of trees are often shared with both relatives and non-relatives.
Many of the animals on O’Reilly covers are endangered; all of them are important to the world. To learn more about how you can help, go to animals.oreilly.com.
The cover image is from Shaw’s Zoology, vol. 2.1. The cover fonts are URW Typewriter ...