It’s a tiny lizard, barely 20 centimetres (8 inches) long, but it can glide 8 metres (26 feet). This colourful creature looks like a dragon, so it is no surprise that it's called Draco volans, or flying dragon.
A fact sheet on the creature explains how it glides:
“The flying dragon has 6 to 7 pairs of ribs which are much longer than others. The skin between the ribs forms a large membrane called the patagium. This membrane can be folded just like a fan. When the lizard glides, it spreads out its ribs foward, forming a gliding surface.”
The lizard displays the hallmarks of design. Researchers have a hard time explaining why and how these tiny dragons or other creatures took to the air, but here’s one attempt from the journal Integrative and Comparative Biology:
“The evolution of gliding can be cast as a multistep process initiated with an aerial righting reflex, and then followed by behavioral adaptations such that the falling lizard assumes a characteristic splayed posture with the body and tail oriented in the horizontal plane while falling. This allows the lizard to maximize drag and thus to parachute to the ground at a reduced velocity relative to that of a tumbling lizard (Oliver 1951).”