The Fossa

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The Fossa

Post by Sambhur » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:02 am

You have heard of lions and tigers as great predators but how many of you have heard of the Fossa? It is probably one of the most unusual large predators in the world and it only exists on the island of Madagascar. At the moment it is listed as vulnerable but scientists believe it should be listed at least Endangered or Critically Endangered.

Looking a lot like a cougar, most people mistake it for one of the big cats, and it does have lots of cat like features. As well as having retractable claws and the ability to climb, it can actually catch prey as it jumps from one tree limb to another. However it isn't a cat at all; it's related to some unique Malagasay animals which are all related to the mongoose.

They prey on any vertebrate from medium size lemurs to the tiny tenrec and have also developed a taste for domesticated livestock which has resulted in many shootings. They are also hunted for bushmeat and some villagers believe body parts have medicinal powers.

Officials estimate fewer than 2,500 of these beautiful animals are left but a scientist working closely on the ground believes it is already in critical shape. She has used GPS and radio collars since 2007 and in 2008 found 14 males in one reserve known to hold a lot of fossa. In 2009 she found 10 while in 2010 she only found TWO. In another forest area she had seen seven, so she says she knows: "There are nine alive total," which is a pretty sad number. Ms. Luhrs commented: "There is this fascinating weird creature at the other end of the world and it might soon go extinct."
Source: http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/an ... arth-fossa

Anyone remember these animals from the animated film, Madagascar? Ahah. :D I find fossas to be quite interesting, and I love their overall anatomy / how they look. ^^
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Re: The Fossa

Post by Unlucky 13 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:55 am

When I saw the topic title the film Madagascar is what I instantly thought about. Anyway, I think they're pretty interesting creatures, they certainly look awesome.
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Re: The Fossa

Post by sparky_wolf » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:12 am

I think it's great how fossa have become much more recognised in past years, and that's largely due to the film 'Madagascar', as you both have said. Their diet is fairly accurately portrayed too, in the most basic form - lemurs take up, on average, around 50% of a fossa's diet, if my memory serves me correctly.

I find their anatomy intriguing, and their classifications even more so. The fossa's head is a particular point of interest to me; it struck me as feline, yet almost possum-like, at first. Perhaps it was the shape and set of their eyes that made me think that.

I've seen fossa in zoo reserves once or twice, they seem quite content to bask in the sunlight, in captivity anyway.
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Re: The Fossa

Post by SolitaryHowl » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:17 am

Interesting...thanks for sharing!
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Re: The Fossa

Post by Granger » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:06 am

Very intriguing. This species struck me as ferret/mongoose-like when I first saw it, mainly because I lived in Hawaii and there are mongoose populations there. Thanks for sharing! :D
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Re: The Fossa

Post by Nordue » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:00 pm

  • Yeah, I was first introduced to this species when I saw Madagascar as well. Although they simply looked like skinny lions in it. Real fossas have so many toes XD!

    ...its sad Google Chrome's spell checker doesn't recognize the word fossa. And I'll check if the word has been added to the WQ Lexicon, come to think of it^^!

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