Sciurus Volans: The Flying Squirrel.
This is about the Size of the Ground Squirrel, but has a somewhat
shorter Body and Head; The Ears were round, the Eyes black, and
large; the Body covered with very fine Hair, as soft, tho' longer
than that of a Mole, of a light Mouse Dun Colour: The Tail long,
broad, and flat, the Hairs of it exceeding fine and soft.
These Squirrels have not membranous Wings like those of a Bat,
whereby they can fly to any great Distance, but have only Membranes,
covered with their Furr, which grow along their Sides, and are attached
to their Legs, by which they can expand them, and so help themselves
in leaping from one Tree to another, as I shall mention in the following
These Species of Squirrels hath been lately discovered in Poland,
an accurate Description and Print thereof, communicated by the ingenious
and curious Mr. Klein, Secretary to the City of Dantzick
is published in the Philosophical Transactions, N° 427. p.
These Trees are from fourteen to eighteen, and sometimes twenty
Feet in Height, with a Trunc seldom above ten Inches thick, and
Leaves like those of a Pear. In April the Blossoms appear,
growing along the Sides of the Branches, on very short Footstalks;
they are monopetalous, succulent, and of a green Colour, divided
into four Segments, in the middle of which stands the Ovarium,
which when grown to their full Size are nearly as big as Orleance
Plums: As the Fruit swells the four Petals, which composed the
Flower, spread, and become hard and dry. The Fruit, which is of
a transparent reddish yellow Colour, incloseth four flat Stones.
These Trees grow plentifully in Carolina, Virginia, and most
of the Northern Colonies in America, and are lately become
naturallized to our Climate, having here ripen'd its Fruit in the
open Air. The Fruit of these Trees are ripe at different Times,
some in August, others in November, and will hang
after the Leaves are dropped till December; the Fruit having
then lost much of its watery Parts, is shrivelled, candied, and
very luscious, resembling in Taste and Consistence Raisins of the
Sun. The Fruit of these Trees are a great Support to Birds, Squirrels,
and various other Animals. The Stone split in two Parts exhibits
the Tree in Embrio, with its Stem or Trunc, with the two Folia
Seminalia, in a more conspicuous Manner than in any other Seed
I have ever met with.