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Fossa © MNHN - F-G Grandin

The fossa

The fossa, Cryptoprocta ferox, is Madagascar’s largest carnivorous mammal and most formidable predator.


Class, order and family :
Mammalia, Carnivora, Eupleridae
Life span :
up to 20 years in captivity
Size & Weight :
around 35 cm (shoulder height) and 5 - 10 kg
Gestation period :
3 months - 2-4 cubs
Natural habitat :
dry forests, woodland savanna
Diet :
carnivore - lemurs, small vertebrates
Native region :
Statut UICN : 

Vulnerable (VU)


An agile climber, the fossa spends its time up in the trees sleeping or hunting lemurs.

Distinctive features

Looking at its semi-retractable claws and its tail which it uses for balancing, the fossa could be mistaken for a member of the cat family. But this is not the case for, contrary to appearance, it belongs to the Eupleridae family which includes the eight carnivores of Madagascar.

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