Friday Fun Facts: Fossa

What the heck…? It has the coloring of a puma, and the stance of a cat, but a huge long tail, and the face of a ferret! What could this possibly be???

It’s a fossa! Native to Madagascar it is a threatened species of carnivore (the island’s largest) that hunts – and sleeps – day or night, and is an incredible tree climber (with retractable claws like a cat) and jumper but agile and fast on the ground as well, moving on the soles of its feet like a bear. They are also known to be quite fierce. Because they aren’t often seen, there isn’t much known about them, so there are many myths and legends about them. But what IS known is interesting enough!

They are most closely related to the mongoose, and can travel 16 miles in a day…about 20# in weight, though the largest known fossa was over 37# and nearly 20 feet long…their main prey is lemurs – they are even swifter than them! – and will eat other small animals, birds, and fish – and even wild pigs! They are solitary, and breed in Sept/Oct, typically producing 2 young which will be fully mature at 2 years of age; their lifespan is about 17 years.

But the most striking thing about a fossa, in my opinion, is the way they look.

If you are interested, these are the sources I used to start learning about these critters. (The images were obtained through my favorite search engine.) And there is a LOT more out there about fossas too! source1 ~ source2 ~ source3


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