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The fossa, Cryptoprocta ferox, is a meat-eating mammal that lives 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 is related to the mongoose. Fossas are fast runners and are also very good at climbing trees (and jumping from tree to tree). These mostly nocturnal animals have a life span of about 20 years in captivity.

Anatomy: The fossa is a sleek, furry animal that looks like a cross between a cat and a dog. It has large eyes, large rounded ears, sharp teeth, retractible curved claws, webbed feet, a dog-like snout, long whiskers, a long tail, and short, brown to black fur. It has a flat-footed (plantigrade) stance. The fossa is about 28-36 inches (70 - 90 cm) long, plus a tail which is from 28-34 inches (70 - 85 cm) long. It weighs about 20 to 33 pounds (9 - 15 kg).

Diet: The fossa is a carnivore (a meat-eater). It is a ferocious hunter that eats small animals, like lemurs, rodents, , and reptiles (like snakes), insects, and some domesticated animals (like chickens and small pigs).

Pups: Baby fossa are born blind and toothless. The mother cares for the young for about a year. They do not breed until they are about 3-4 years old.

Classification: Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia (mammals), Family Viverridae, Subfamily Cryptoproctinae, Genus Cryptoprocta, Species C. ferox.

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