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Scientific name:
Cryptoprocta ferox

Conservation Status:
At Risk

Where to see them in the zoo:
Complex Carnivores

Fun Facts:

  • Fossas are great climbers and are well-adapted for chasing tree-dwelling prey.
  • Fossas resemble cats but are not actually felines; their closest relatives are mongooses. 
  • Fossas demonstrate excellent hearing, sight and sense of smell.

 Fossa

Size: 
Adult fossas average 30 inches long and weigh up to 25 pounds; males are generally larger than females.
 
Range: 
Madagascar
 
Lifestyle:
Fossas are most active at night, dusk and early morning hours. The species is typically solitary, with males and females interacting only during breeding season.
 
Diet:
Fossas are strict carnivores, consuming only meat. The top predators on the island of Madagascar, fossas are the primary predators of lemurs, although they also hunt other small mammals, as well as reptiles, amphibians, birds and insects.
 
Lifecycle:
Females typically give birth to two to four offspring, which are independent by the time they are just over a year old. Lifespan is not well documented, but fossas have been known to live up to 20 years in zoological settings.
 
Neighbors in the wild:
Lemurs, Madagascar flying foxes, day geckos, pied crows
 
Population status and threats:
Fossas are classified as At Risk; threats include habitat loss, hunting and extermination by farmers.