Fossa Facts

Fossa Facts
Fossa is a cat-like creature that closely related to the mongoose family. They can be found only in the tropical rainforests of the Madagascar. Fossa is the largest predator on the island and it does not have natural enemies, but due to extreme deforestation (90% of the forest is already destroyed) it is listed as an endangered species. Less than 2500 animals are left in the wild.
Interesting Fossa Facts:
Fossa has black, brown or red fur and long slender body. Although they look like cats, they are more closely related to mongooses. Characteristic features are round ears, large eyes and short snout with long whiskers.
Some specimens may grow to almost 2 meters in length, but most animals reach between 24 and 34 inches, with the tail of almost the same length. Since fossa is active climber, it is slim and weighs usually between 15 and 28.5 pounds. Males are larger than females.
Fossa is nocturnal animal (active during the night), but when the food sources are scarce, it can switch to daily hunt.
Fossa is carnivore and 50% of its diet is composed of lemurs. They hunt any of 30 different species of lemurs that reside the Madagascar. Besides lemurs, fossa also eats small mammals, birds, fish, lizards, frogs and domestic animals (such as chickens). Many farmers kill fossa because they want to protect their livestock.
Fossa is a solitary and territorial animal. It uses special scent produced by the anal gland to mark its 4 square kilometer large territory.
Fossa is very agile animal. It spends most of the time in the trees, by hanging from the branches or by jumping from one tree to another. Tail ensures required balance for all these acrobatic maneuvers.
Fossa has retractable (can be pulled inside the paw) and sharp claws which are used both for hunting and for hanging on the trees.
Fossa is a speedy runner. It can reach a speed of 35 miles per hour.
Fossa has excellent sense of hearing, smell and eyesight.
Fossa communicates using wide range of vocal sounds, visual stimuli, body language and scents. Vocalization includes purrs (when they are threatened), repeated loud, coarse inhalations and gasps of breath (when they are afraid) or high yelp (when single animal try to attract other fossas).
Mating season lasts from October to December. Males are especially aggressive during this period and they often fight with each other to attract female's attention. Winner of the battle gets the chance to mate with the female.
Female mates with more than one male during mating season. After mating, females create a den on the ground, where the babies will be born.
Fossa reproduces slowly. Pregnancy lasts 6 to 7 weeks and ends with 2 to 4 babies. Babies have only 3.5 ounces on birth, they are blind and toothless. They will open their eyes for the first time 16-25 days after birth.
Young fossa starts eating solid food with 12 weeks, but it will not become independent until it reaches one year. Fossa becomes fully mature with 4 years.
Fossa can live up to 20 years in captivity. Life span in the wild is much shorter.

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