by Rachel Mitchell
© Image by SeaReeds from Pixabay
The Fossa is the largest carnivorous mammal in the forests of Madagascar. They tend to be solitary creatures which are active both during the day and at night which hints at why they are the top predator in their habitat. They are known to be great climbers due to their long tail – it allows for them to move swiftly through the branches in order to hunt their prey, and makes them incredibly difficult to observe!
Unlike its mongoose cousin, the Fossa boasts retractable claws and sharp teeth similar to a feline. They have a short brown coat and a muzzle resembling one of a canine. They can grow up to 6 feet long and weigh up to 26 pounds, and feed on lemurs. They are also known to feast on other creatures they come across, from wild pigs to mice.
© Image by 272447 from Pixabay
Their lifespan is generally 15 years, however the current population is decreasing due to habitat loss. Currently, less than 10% of Madagascar’s forest cover remains today. This is detrimental to the Fossa as the Madagascan forest is their only home. They are currently marked as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, thus they are at high risk of becoming extinct in the wild.