29″ with a 35″ tail
Up to 20 years in captivity
Carnivore. Small to medium mammals (including lemurs), reptiles, birds & fish.
The fossa live in rainforests and wooded savannas on the island of Madagascar (located off the southeastern coast of Africa). It is the largest native predator on Madagascar.
The fossa inhabits all forested areas on the island of Madagascar. It ranges from coastal lowlands to mountainous areas up to 2000 meters in elevation
The fossa looks very similar in appearance to the mountain lion. However, its family is more closely related to the hyaena family. Males are significantly larger than the females. Fossas have a very muscular build. Its short pelage is a reddish brown in color. Fossas have extremely long whiskers that can be as long as their head in length. Its short, curved claws are retractable, and it walks plantigrade. Their ears are small and rounded. They have small teeth, and much fewer teeth than other vivverids: 32-36 teeth.
The fossa is shy, nocturnal, and crepuscular, though it will occasionally move about during the day. It is a solitary animal, except during the mating season, needing approximately one square kilometer of territory. Both sexes mark their territory with scent glands. Aggressive behavior is not common, except during the mating season. Examples include threatening calls and postures, which lead to fights where each contestant tries to bite the other (Schliemann 1986).
Mating occurs in September and October, and young are born in a den in December and January after a three month gestation period. At birth the two to four young weigh 100 grams each. They are altricial, being toothless and blind, but furred. At four and a half months a young fossa is weaned and ventures out of the den. The young fossa leaves its mother when it reaches fifteen to twenty months of age and becomes sexually mature at four years of age. While the life span of the fossa has not been studied in the wild, one specimen lived twenty years in captivity.
Hunting & human encroachment.
ANIMAL FUN FACT!
The fossa is the largest carnivore on the island of Madagascar.Kari Hochstetler is my Sponsor!