Borneo Isolated from the rest of Asia it’s an evolutionary hothouse with the world’s tallest forests. And the greatest number of flying mutants. But why do so many animals glide in these forests compared to others? The key to the evolutionary mystery is the giant dipterocarp tree with its high canopy. Compared to other crowded rainforests, the space between the giant dipterocarps in Borneo is largely free of branches and other vegetation which would restrict gliding. To take advantage, many animals evolved makeshift wings to glide across the clear spaces between trees. The draco lizard has a hidden superpower. It likes to feed on tree ants. When food runs out, the draco transforms. Wings emerge out of its ribs and skin. And he glides to another tree for the next meal. This flying dragon is not the only aerial acrobat in the forest. The largest glider in these trees is a bizarre creature called a colugo. Its membrane is so large it can glide as far as 475 feet through the canopy. Further than any other creature on Earth. The forests of Borneo and Sumatra are home to more gliders
than anywhere else in the world.