Fossa          Cyptoprocta ferox

Type of Animal:
Malagasy Carnivore

Forests and woodland savannas


Brown, cat-like animal with long tail, somewhat small ears, & gazing eyes.

Lemurs, tenrecs, lizards, birds, smaller civets, rodents, rabbits, pigs, fish, snakes including larger species, eggs, frogs, insects, goat kids, lambs, indri, aye-aye, tortoises, turtles, crocodile hatchlings

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos and wildlife parks

Solitary, though some males can be found in small groups of 2-4 animals & have even been observed pack-hunting. 

Additional Info:


Male-22 lbs
Female-15 lbs
Young-3.52 oz

3 months

1.2 ft

Body Length:
Male-2.5-2.6 ft
Female-2.1-2.3 ft

Life Span: 
Up to 20 years

Tail Length:
Male-1.25-1.3 ft
Female-1.05-1.15 ft

Only predators are Nile Crocodiles.

Threatened due to killing of individuals as predators of poultry, pigs, lambs, & goat kids, deforestation, habitat loss, hunting, & disease.

Territory fights between fossa deadly and vicious. Males and females very territorial.

During breeding season, female goes up into tree, attracting a number of males. Males fight & sometimes kill each other w/ winning male (sometimes up to 4 males) mating w/ female. Once mating occurs, another female takes previous female’s place & if other males still have energy, fights occur once again. If only 1 or a few males left standing, then female mates w/ 1 or all of them & then they go their  separate ways. 

Male territories quite large, encompassing a few female territories.

If alarmed, it will release musky smell from scent glands.

Unlike others of its family, the Fossa has retractable claws.

They’re very elusive.

Pups stay w/ mom until they’re 1.5 years old. When they leave mom, they set up own territories.

Males will kill pups if given the chance. This applies to even the father.

Territories marked w/ anal gland secretions.

They’re quite arboreal & are great climbers.

Sexually mature at 3 years old.

Fun Fact(s):
Got its fame from movie Madagascar.

Well known for their ferocity. Pound for pound, these animals one of the most dangerous carnivores in the world-quite capable of tearing a person’s face off.

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