views updated

Anomaluridae (scaly-tailed squirrels; order Rodentia, suborder Sciuromorpha) A family of arboreal, squirrel-like rodents, usually brightly coloured, and in all genera but Zenkerella possessing a patagium supported laterally by an olecranon cartilage, used in gliding. The tail is bushy, with a double row of raised scales on the under-side, and in some species it is long. The limbs are pentadactyl, the claws strong. The skull is high, the palate narrow, the eyes and ears large. The cheek teeth are rooted, brachydont with four or five cusps. There are about 12 species in four genera: Anomalurus, Anomalurops, Idiurus, and Zenkerella. They are found in W. and Central Africa.