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carnivorous mammal, Cryptoprocta ferox, of Madagascar. The island's largest carnivore, the fossa resembles a pumapuma
or cougar
, New World member of the cat family, Puma concolor. Also known as mountain lion, catamount, panther, and painter, it ranges from S British Columbia to the southern tip of South America. The puma is slenderly built, with a lionlike face.
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 in appearance and has semiretractable claws, but it is most closely related to Madagascar's other native carnivores and to the mongoosemongoose,
name for a large number of small, carnivorous, terrestrial Old World mammals of the civet family. They are found in S Asia and in Africa, with one species extending into S Spain.
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 and civetcivet
or civet cat,
any of a large group of mostly nocturnal mammals of the Old World family Viverridae (civet family), which also includes the mongoose. Civets are not true cats, but the civet family is related to the cat family (Felidae).
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. Its slender body may be more than 5 ft (1.5 m) long including the tail, which makes up about half of the total length, and the largest males may weigh as much as 26 lb (12 kg). The female is somewhat smaller. The coat is generally reddish brown above and cream below.

The fossa is found in both humid and dry forests and is an agile climber. A generally solitary animal, it preys on lemurs, wild pigs, and other mammals as well as fish and birds; it hunts by ambush. During mating season several males compete for a female, who rests high in a tree; the tree may be used for mating, and then used as a mating ground by another female when the first leaves. There are two to four young in a litter. The young are blind and helpless when born, and remain the mother for about a year and a half. Largely because of habitat destruction, the fossa is endangered.

The fossa is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Eupleridae.

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(foss -ă) (plural: fossae) a long narrow shallow depression. The word is used in the approved name of such a surface feature on a planet or satellite.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Cryptoprocta ferox), a predatory mammal of the family Viverridae. The body measures as much as 76 cm in length and as much as 37 cm in height; the tail measures approximately 65 cm in length. The fossa, the largest predator of the island of Madagascar, has a massive body with relatively long, thick extremities and semiretractile claws. It somewhat resembles a cat, but the head is longer. The fur is short, smooth, and reddish brown.

The fossa inhabits forests and feeds on birds and small mammals. It is terrestrial but may climb trees when chasing lemurs. It is active at night. The animal attacks domestic fowl and young domestic swine.


Mammals of the World, vol. 2. Baltimore, Md., 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A pit or depression.
(vertebrate zoology)
Cryptoprocta ferox. A Madagascan carnivore related to the civets.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The antecubital fossa should be positioned at heart level.
Place the end piece over the palpated brachial artery, in the one-inch space above the antecubital fossa, and slightly toward the inner side of the arm.
At thirteen months postoperatively, when the patient's symptoms had failed to improve, a surgical exploration of the median nerve and anterior interosseous nerve was performed along with neurolysis of these nerves at the antecubital fossa and a release of the median nerve at the carpal tunnel.
* Correct IV device, recently placed and secured well, and preferably the antecubital fossa region;
An "S" shaped incision starting on the medial border of the biceps muscle is carried laterally across the antecubital fossa and distally along the ulnar border of the brachioradialis muscle.
Examination of the antecubital fossa revealed pathergy from a blood test and intravenous cannula (FIGURE 3).
I have found some pretty ludicrous phlebotomy techniques posted and perpetuated by self-proclaimed phlebotomy "authorities." For example, one site advocates tightening the tourniquet around the patient's armpit and shoulder instead of several inches above the antecubital fossa.
O'Donoghue has her patients patch test the antecubital fossa for 2-3 days before purchasing these products.
Friedman, citing a 2012 study showing that, in four healthy volunteers, the microbiota from swabs at four sites (antecubital fossa, back, nare, and plantar heel) varied widely both in diversity and composition (Genome Res.
Abstract A five-month-old boy with skin phototype IV was successfully treated for a large infantile hemangioma on his left antecubital fossa with three intense pulsed-light treatments at 4-week interval.
In the hook test, with the elbow actively flexed and supinated, an index finger should be able to "hook" under a cord like structure in the antecubital fossa if the tendon is intact.
In this open application procedure the ingredient is applied twice a day to an area about 2 cm in the antecubital fossa, so the reaction will be easily visible.