Fossa Introduction

The Fossa is a large species of mammal endemic to Madagascar. The Fossa belongs to the Malagasy Carnivores group which are thought to have descended from Mongoose-like ancestors that arrived on Madagascar from Africa up to 24 million years ago. The Fossa is the most ancient of the eight species found on the island. However, due to the cat-like appearance of the Fossa it was believed to be a primitive species of feline until recently. Sadly like a number of the unique animal species found in Madagascar today though, the Fossa is incredibly rare and is now considered to be endangered in its natural habitat primarily due to habitat loss. The fossa is known to feed on lemurs and most other creatures it can get its claws on, from wild pigs to mice. Unlike mongooses, and more like felines, the fossa has retractable claws and fearsome catlike teeth. Its coat is reddish brown and its muzzle resembles that of a dog. The fossa is also equipped with a long tail that comes in handy while hunting and maneuvering amongst the tree branches. It can wield its tail like a tightrope walker’s pole and moves so swiftly through the trees that scientists have had trouble observing and researching it.

Keywords to learn

Descended: be a blood relative of (a specified ancestor)

Muzzle: the projecting part of the face, including the nose and mouth, of an animal such as a dog or horse

About Me

Hey Kids, my name is Finch the Fossa and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species.



Key Data

  • Order:
  • Lifespan:
    15 – 20 years.
  • Class:
  • Scientific name:
    Cryptoprocta ferox.
  • Mass:
    7kg – 12kg (15lbs – 28.5lbs).
  • Length:
    61cm – 80cm (24in – 32in).
  • Region Found:
  • Population Status:
  • Current population trend:
  • Diet:
  • Sexual maturity:
    4 years.


As you have learned, the Fossa is the king of Madagascar and is the top predator of the whole island. Nothing stands a chance against the Fossa on the island of Madagascar!


Now that you know more about the Fossa by learning the key data above, be sure to also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.



Download questions about the Fossa here: Fossa (answers are on this page)





Fossa Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1.  The fossa is the  largest carnivorous mammal in Madagascar.
  • # 2. The fossa is a relative to the mongoose.
  • # 3. Until recently, scientists believed that the fossa was a primitive species of cat.
  • # 4. A fossas tail is as long as its body. 
  • # 5. Presently, fossas are threatened due to habitat loss. Less than ten percent of Madagascar’s original, intact forest cover, the fossas only home remains. today.

Q&A Corner

  • # 1. What is the fossas favorite food?
  • # 2. What is the average mass of the fossa?
  • # 3. At what age does a fossa sexually mature?
  • # 4. What is the fossa a relative to?
  • # 5. What did scientists used to think a fossa was?


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