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Related to fossa: tuberosity, temporal fossa


fossa, carnivorous mammal, Cryptoprocta ferox, of Madagascar. The island's largest carnivore, the fossa resembles a puma in appearance and has semiretractable claws, but it is most closely related to Madagascar's other native carnivores and to the mongoose and civet. 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 Chordata, 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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Recreating large-scale, unique Madagascan habitats for rare lemurs and fossa, right here in Chester, is an important part of our global conservation plan.
In this regard, 3 different cases of the study have been considered for the numerical evaluation of the contact stresses at the prosthesis interface, that is, at the contact surface between the glenoid fossa and the mandibular components.
The patient's intraoperative course lasted approximately eleven hours during which time the patient underwent a left middle fossa craniotomy, TMJ arthroplasty, glenoid fossa reconstruction with split-thickness calvarial bone graft, and maxillomandibular fixation.
For pyriform fossa tumours it is 3.6: 1, but for postcricoid tumours it is 1: 2.
During our routine dissection classes for undergraduate medical students, we observed neurovascular variations in the infratemporal fossa. Accessory meningeal artery arose from the middle meningeal artery, 25 mm below the base of the skull and entered the middle cranial fossa through the foramen ovale by passing behind the mandibular nerve.
The defects were successfully repaired with temporal muscle fascia or fascia lata graft and fibrin glue using the middle cranial fossa approach via craniotomy.
Fossa are their own unique species, but closely related to Mongoose and meercats.
(4) With contrast fistulography, the tract of the fistula up to the internal opening at the tonsillar fossa can be traced.
Computed tomography (CT) showed a soft-tissue mass that had destroyed the bony plate of the posterior and middle cranial fossa (Figures 2(a) and 2(b)).
Therefore a CT arthrogram was ordered identifying a 4.5 x 2.4 x 1cm lesion expanding medially through the acetabular fossa but respecting its inner table.
Although a nonrecognizable cerebellar hemisphere in the posterior fossa mimicked primary cerebellar agenesis [4], T2 star-weighted angiography (SWAN) successfully detected hemosiderin deposits enveloping the cystic lesion, which led to the diagnosis of an acquired form of DWM and selection of a surgical intervention approach.