Fossa Fact Sheet

Class: Mammalia 
Order: Carnivora
Family: Eupleridae


Species: ferox
Life span:

Unknown in the wild; up to 20 years under human care

Gestation: 3 months
Number of young at birth:


Age of maturity:

About 4 years


Up to 31 in long, tail length: 27 to 35 in long

Weight: Females, 11 to 15 lbs; males, 13 to 22 lbs
Size at birth:  3 to 3.5 oz
Description: Has paws with claws like a cat, a long tail like a monkey, and round ears like a weasel. Its coat is short, usually a rich brown color with a golden tinge. The fossa’s tail makes up about half of the animal’s length.

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  • Range: Madagascar
  • Habitat: Rain forest and savanna
  • Climbing high up into trees and jump from branch to branch, the fossa can climb down the tree headfirst using its claws.
  • Fossas nap and hunt day or night depending on mood or circumstance.
  • The fossa is solitary except during the breeding season
  • The fossa is a carnivore and preys on small to medium sized animals from fish to birds.
  • The fossa is one of the top predators on the island of Madagascar.
  • Fossas have scent glands that release a stinky smell when the animal is irritated or frightened.