Another inhabitant of Madagascar: The Fossa – a very curious animal.

According to Wired:

The fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is the largest carnivorous mammal on the island of Madagascar. They can reach nearly six feet in length, with half of that due to their long tails.

They look like a cross between a cat, a dog, and a mongoose. Fossas have slender bodies, muscular limbs, and short, reddish-brown coats. They have small, cat-like heads, short, dog-like muzzles, and large, rounded ears.

The article goes on to highlight 10 “fun facts” about the fossa:

1. Their scientific name means “hidden anus.” The fossa’s genus name, Cryptoprocta, is inspired by how its anus is concealed by an anal pouch.

2. Fossas are the top predator in Madagascar. Lemurs make up a good deal of their diets, but they also eat small mammals, fish, lizards, birds, frogs, and insects.

3. Their classification has been complicated. The fossa has features in common with three different families of carnivores: Herpestidae (mongooses), Viverridae (civets and their relatives), and Felidae (cats).

4. Fossas are mainly solitary.

5. Fossas communicate largely through scent glands.

6. They also make several kinds of sounds.

7. They are agile climbers. The fossa’s long, slender tail provides balance as it moves through the trees, and its semiretractable claws and flexible ankles allow it to climb up and down trees head-first.

8. Fossas like forests.

9. Female fossas are temporarily masculine. The female fossa undergoes a strange developmental stage during adolescence known as transient masculinization, unique to fossas.

10. Fossas have an unusual mating system.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

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