FOSSA fosa mena (“reddish fossa”) - ©Douglas Hill
Location: Endemic to Madagascar.
- The fossa is the largest mammalian carnivore on the island of Madagascar and has been compared to a small cougar.
- It has semi-retractable claws and flexible ankles that allow it to climb up and down trees head-first, and also support jumping from tree-to-tree.
- It is found solely in forested habitat, and actively hunts both day and night.
- The Fossa uses its tail to aid in balance and has semi-retractable claws that it uses to climb trees in its search for prey.
- It has semiplantigrade feet, switching between a plantigrade-like gait (when arboreal) and a digitigrade-like one (when terrestrial).
- The soles of its paws are nearly bare and covered with strong pads
- The fossa has very flexible ankles that allow it to readily grasp tree trunks so as to climb up or down trees head first or to leap to another tree.
- Captive juveniles have been known to swing upside down by their hind feet from knotted ropes
Fact Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossa_%28animal%29