What are Fossas? Fossa Information and Facts

where do fossas live | Fossa

Fossa Scientific Name:

The binomial name of the animal fossa is Cryptoprocta Ferox.

What are Fossas?

The unusual-looking face of fossa looks like a puma and has both the features of canine and feline. It is the largest carnivorous mammal of Madagascar. The fossa is known for his appearance, strength, and its peculiar mating rituals. 

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What Does a Fossa Look Like?

The body of these species measures between 27 to 31 inches from the head to the tail. The tail is half of their body length which is around 26 to 28 inches. A male fossa is generally larger than the female. Male fossa weighs around 13 to 19 pounds whereas female weighs between 12 to 15 pounds. Their coat color is reddish-brown, and their muzzle resembles a dog. The long tail of the fossa helps it to balance and jump from branch to branch.

It has a mongoose like head, longer than a cat. Both males and females have short, straight fur that is dense without any spots or patterns. They are usually reddish-brown dorsally and colored a dirty cream ventrally. During the mating season, they may have an orange coloration to their abdomen from a reddish-brown substance secreted by their chest gland. Their flexible ankle allows them to climb up on trees or came down from the trees headfirst.

Where do Fossas Live?

Fossa habitats in Madagascar can be found throughout the island in the central highlands. These species inherit in all the forested areas in Madagascar from mountainous areas down to the coastal lowlands. 

What do Fossas Eat?

The fossa is a carnivorous species; they feed on wild pigs, birds, rodents, frogs, lizards, small mammals, amphibians, and insects, though their favorite food is lemurs which consist of approximately 50 percent of their diet.

Fossa Species:

The fossa is an intelligent, sharp animal that moves with ease high up in the trees of its forest home. A fossa is solitary in nature and spends its time both in the trees and on the ground. It is believed that fossas were nocturnal because they were hard to find in the wild—fossa nap and hunt day or night depending on mood or circumstances. The species can travel up to 15 miles per day. These animals are known agile at both leaping and climbing with great help from their long and slender tail. The fossa is an ambush hunter; it uses its forelimbs and claws to catch its prey, killing it quickly with its sharp teeth. Fossa’s can scent to communicate and keep track of each other. The sounds they make include purrs, repeated loud, coarse gasps, and inhalations or a high yelp.

More Fossa Information:

The mating season between these species takes place from September to October. A female occupies a site on her own, high in a tree, and several males assemble below and compete for mating rights. The female mates with several males, once she has left the site, another female takes it over the site and also mates with several mates. The mother makes a den in a place like an old termite mound, underground den, or the hollow of the tree.

After the gestation period of three months, 2 to 4 young are born blind and helpless, and typically weighs around 100 g. The young fossa remains with their mother until the age of 15 to 20 months. Locals pronounce fossa by the name as ‘foo-sa’ and ‘foosh’.

What are Fossas Predators?

Even though the fact that the fossa is the largest natural predator in Madagascar, it has no predator itself except crocodiles. And also, humans pose the biggest threat to the species. 

Fossa Endangered:

According to the IUCN red list, the total population of the fossa is between 2,635 to 8,628 adults. Currently, the species are described as vulnerable and is continuously decreasing. The main reason for the declining population is the loss of habitat. Humans hunt the species out of fear of their livelihood. Deforestation and land clearance for agriculture have led to a drastic decline in the population numbers of these species.    

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