The Life of Animals | Fossa | The fossa Appears as a diminutive form of a large felid, Such as a cougar, but with a Slender body Limbs and muscular, and a tail Nearly as long as the rest of the body. There is some sexual dimorphism, with adult males (6.2-8.6 kg Weighing; 14-19 lb) being larger than females (5.5-6.8 kg, 12-15 lb). The fossa can smell, Hear, and see well. It is a robust animal and Illnesses are rare in captive fossas. Both males and females have short, straight fur That Is Relatively dense and without spots or patterns.

The tail tends to be lighter in coloration than the sides. Juveniles are either gray or white Nearly Several of the animal's physical features are adaptions to climbing through trees.The fossa has Several different scent glands, although the glands are less developed in females. Other glands are located near the penis or vagina, with the penile glands emitting a strong odor. Males have an unusually long penis and baculum (penis bone), Reaching to the between its forelegs erect

In comparison, the glans of felids is short and spiny, while That of viverrids is smooth and long the female fossa Exhibits masculization transient, starting at about 1-2 years of age, developing an enlarged, spiny That clitoris resembles a male's penis. It is speculated That reduces the transient masculization either juvenile sexual harassment of females by adult males, or reduces aggression from territorial females. While females of other mammal species (Such as the spotted hyena) have a pseudo-penis, none is known to diminish in size as the animal grows.

The fossa has the most widespread geographical range of the Malagasy carnivores, and is Generally found in low numbers throughout the island in the remaining tracts of forest, preferring pristine undisturbed forest habitat. Although the fossa is found in all known forest habitats throughout Madagascar, including the western, dry deciduous forests, the eastern rainforests, and the southern spiny forests, it is seen more frequently in humid than in dry forests. Because this may be the reduced canopy in dry forests provides less shade, and also Because the fossa seems a to travel more easily in humid forests.

The fossa has been found across Several different elevational gradients in undisturbed portions of protected areas throughout Madagascar. The fossa has been assessed as "Vulnerable" by the IUCN Red List since 2008, as its population size has Probably Declined by at least 30% over the last 21 years; previous assessments have included "Endangered" (2000) and "Insufficiently Known" (1988, 1990, 1994) The species is dependent on forest and thus Threatened by the widespread destruction of Madagascar's native forest but is also Able to persist in disturbed areas. A suite of microsatellite markers (short segments of DNA That have a repeated sequence) have been developed to help aid in studies of genetic health and population dynamics of Both captive and wild fossas Several pathogens have been isolated from the fossa, some of which, Such as anthrax and canine distemper, are thought to have been transmitted by feral dogs or cats. Although the species is widely distributed, it is locally rare in all regions, making fossas particularly vulnerable to extinction.

The total population of the fossa living within protected areas is estimated at less than 2.500 adults, but this may be an overestimate. Only two protected areas are thought to contain 500 or more adult fossas: Masoala National Park and Midongy-Sud National Park, although these are also thought to be overestimated. Too little population information has been collected for a formal population viability analysis, but estimates suggest That none of the protected areas support a viable population.  Taboo, known in Madagascar as fady, offers protection for the fossa and other carnivores Marolambo In the District (part of the Atsinanana Region in Toamasina Province), the fossa has traditionally been Hated and feared as a dangerous animal. The animals were the resource persons typically hunted using slingshots, with dogs, or most commonly, by Placing snare traps on animal paths. Near Ranomafana National Park, the fossa, along with Several of its Smaller cousins and the introduced small Indian Civet (Viverricula indica), are known to "scavenge on the bodies of Ancestors", the which are buried in Shallow Graves in the forest. Small carnivore traps have been observed near chicken runs in the village of Vohiparara. Fossas are occasionally held in captivity in zoos. The next year, at a time only eight fossas there were the resource persons in the world's zoos, the Duisburg Zoo in Germany acquired one; this zoo later started a Successful breeding programs, and most zoo fossas now descend from the Duisburg population. Research on the Duisburg fossas has provided much data about Their biology.

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