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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.


(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.



(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.


A pit or depression.
(vertebrate zoology)
Cryptoprocta ferox. A Madagascan carnivore related to the civets.
References in periodicals archive ?
Modified alvarado score of all patients who were included in the study was calculated on a proforma which included migratory right iliac fossa pain, anorexia, nausea/vomiting, tenderness in right iliac fossa (2 Points), rebound tenderness, elevated temperature and leucocytosis (>10 x 109/L, 2 Points)10-13 (table-I).
S), tenderness in right iliac fossa is having maximum sensitivity (100%) followed by Nausea or vomiting (90%), rebound tenderness in right lower quadrant (80%) and raised temperature (68%).
Caption: Figure 2: Computed tomography image after embolization hematoma in the right iliac fossa (red arrows).
We present a rare case of KFD presenting in a male patient, conspicuous with the absence of cervical lymphadenopathy and presenting with localized intra-abdominal lymph nodes in the right iliac fossa.
The preoperative diagnosis of appendiceal endometriosis is almost impossible, but should be suspected in patients with infertility or cyclic right iliac fossa pain.
The ASIS was osteotomized, the sartorius along with ASIS was reflected, and the iliac fossa along with the mass was brought into view.
The greater omentum (GO) once described as the "policeman of the abdomen" moves towards the right iliac fossa region in an attempt to wall off the inflamed appendix thus limiting the spread of the toxic inflammatory fluid in the peritoneal cavity.
The pancreatic allograft is typically placed in the extraperitoneal right iliac fossa and renal allograft placed in the extraperitoneal left iliac fossa for SPK (Figure 17).
Pain in the abdomen was localized or diffuses and more often it was felt in the left iliac fossa.
In this operation, a preliminary laparotomy was performed and a left iliac fossa colostomy fashioned.
On clinical examination, tenderness was elicited over both the right and left iliac fossae with maximum tenderness over the left iliac fossa.