Fossa of Madagascar

One of the rare species of Madagascar, this animal often lives in the forest for fear of being hunted by the local population. Half cat, half dog it is the largest carnivore of Madagascar. It is probably the result of an evolution of carnivorous mammals that arrived on the island several years ago.

General information on the Fossa of Madagascar :

The Fossa is a ferocious predator with a strange and muscular appearance that is only found in Madagascar. Seen as a cross between a cougar, a dog and a monkey, it is also known as “Cryptoprocta ferox”. This animal is as comfortable on the ground as in the trees and could move with ease thanks to its semi-retractable claws. Very good at hunting lemurs which is its main prey, it is an animal that can hunt during the day even if it is more active at night with an aggressive character. It is said that some inhabitants who live in the vicinity of its location fear it and hate it because it sometimes attacks chickens and pigs. It is regularly seen in the forest reserve of Kirindy and it is classified among the families of “Eupleridae” which includes several carnivores of Madagascar. It is an adaptive animal that can live in hot and desert places as well as in humid places and in altitude.

All you need to know about Fossa:

  • The Fossa has a feline head with large eyes and a dog mouth
  • A long tail that serves as a pendulum
  • Powerful semi-retractable claws
  • Short limbs and powerful enough to confer its agility

It is an endemic animal of Madagascar (unfortunately threatened of extinction because of the deforestation and the hunting) and generally one finds it everywhere in the island except in the central region. It is more rare to find it but it is particularly fond of the dry forests of the north and west of Madagascar. It can be seen regularly in the forest reserve of Kirindy in Morondava, or for those who do not really have time for a long stay in Madagascar it can also be seen in the botanical and zoological park of Tsimbazaza.

Its weight varies from 5 to 10 Kg and it measures from 60 to 80 cm long plus a tail which makes approximately 65 to 70 cm for a height has withers of 35 cm.

The foussa hunts mainly lemurs, but also birds, reptiles and small mammals. And can reach a longevity of 20 years in captivity.

The foussa has reproductive organs similar to those of hyenas and cats, but each has its own characteristics. The male’s reproductive organ is long and spiny, while the females have a rather large clitoris. Males and females meet briefly during the breeding season. The female settles in a tree and shouts to attract the males who come to court her. She will give birth to 2 to 4 cubs in a den and will not leave the den until they have completed their development at 4 months.

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