Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) Fact Sheet, 2015
Image credit: ©San Diego Zoo Global. All Rights Reserved.
Species: Cyrprocta ferox (Bennet, 1833) - Fossa
|Distribution & Status||Behavior & Ecology|
Population in Wild
|Reproduction & Development||Species Highlights|
Age at Weaning
The fossa, Madagascar's largest native carnivore, resembles a small puma. It has semi-retractile claws and carnassial teeth resembling those of a cat. The fossa is quite agile; it quickly leaps from tree to tree and branch to branch, and even moves suspended below branches. The tail assists with balance and serves as a brake. The ankles on its hindfeet are “reversible,” enabling the fossa to both ascend and descend trunks head first.
While the fossa is a very adept tree hunter and will track arboreal lemurs (its prey of choice) for long periods, it will also hunt and cover large distances on the ground.
About This Fact Sheet
© 2015 San Diego Zoo Global. Updated August 2015.
How to cite: Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) Fact Sheet, 2015. c2015. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/fossa.
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)
Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to email@example.com.
We wish to thank Mandi Krebs for providing expert content review of this fact sheet. Ms. Krebs began working with fossa in 2002 in preparation for opening the largest nocturnal exhibit in the world, Kingdoms of the Night at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. She created the first North American Regional Fossa Studbook in 2006 and is the AZA Fossa SSP Coordinator and Studbook Keeper.
She is currently the Interactive Animal Programs Manager at Omaha’s Zoo and still cares for the first fossa she ever met.