Monday, September 26, 2011

The Fossa - Not a Feline

Native to the island of Madagascar, the fossa somewhat resembles a cougar in appearance. And although this carnivore does have a lot of cat-like qualities, it is actually most closely related to the mongoose family.
Photo: Ran Kirlian
Fossas have a body length of around thirty inches and usually weigh less than 20lbs. They can be found throughout Madagascar’s remaining forest tracts using their excellent hearing and eyesight to hunt lemurs and other small mammals and birds. They are extremely quick and agile animals and are excellent climbers.
Photo: Chad Teer
Fossas are quite solitary animals that mainly live and hunt alone except during the mating season, when hunting parties may be formed. Females give birth to litters of up to six young in underground dens where the baby fossas will stay for the first four months of their lives. Fossas can live for up to twenty years, but like many animals in Madagascar, they are threatened by habitat loss.

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