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Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) Fact Sheet: Diet & Feeding



  • Commonly consume vertebrates (from Hawkins and Racey 2008 unless otherwise noted)
    • Lemurs, tenrec, rodents, snakes, birds, lizards, and amphibians
    • Lemurs often compose >50% of prey items
      • Red-tailed sportive, fork-marked and Coquerel’s dwarf lemurs are their preferred prey in the Kirindy Forest
  • Other food items(from Hawkins and Racey 2008 unless otherwise noted)
    • Insects
      • Uncommonly eaten
    • Crabs (Goodman et al. 1997)
    • Livestock/domestic chickens
  • Seeds occasionally present in scat
    • Likely not targeted for consumption, but ingested as part of stomach contents of lemur prey

Diet seasonally variable (from Hawkins and Racey 2008)

  • Wet season
    • Tenrec are taken more often
    • Reliance on lemurs is somewhat diminished, comparatively
  • Dry season
    • Increase consumption of domestic chickens


Feeding & Drinking

  • Feeding
    • Consume internal organs as well as meat (from Wright et al. 1997)
      • Heart, lungs, and liver
  • Drinking
    • Lap water from small pools

Fossa Eat a Variety of Prey

Fossa eating a bird

Fossa consuming a bird.

Image credit: Mathias Appel, via Flickr. Public domain.

Page Citations

Goodman et al. (1997)
Hawkins and Racey (2008)
Wright et al. (1997)

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