Rare Creatures Lurk in the Vanishing Forests of Madagascar


The forests of Madagascar, an island located off the east coast of Africa, are host to many unique plants and animals. Madagascar was first discovered by humans approximately two thousand years ago. Now, less than ten percent of the lush forest remains – the sole habitat of many indigenous animals.

The fossa, scientific name cryptoprocta ferox, is a relative to the mongoose and dwells in Madagascar’s forests. The fossa is a cat-like creature with reddish-brown fur. Its lean body and long tail, which it uses for balance, allows the mammal to quickly and easily move throughout the trees.

Armed with retractable claws and menacing teeth, the fossa is the top predator native to Madagascar. Both day and night, the fossa is active. They wander the trees and the forest ground hunting lemurs, their prey of choice. But in a pinch, fossas will eat almost anything, from mice to wild pigs.

Currently, the fossa population is vulnerable, and decreasing due to habitat loss. Many unique animals in Madagascar are losing their homes, either to climate change or to human activity. Protecting places like Madagascar is important for preserving these one of a kind species.

[Source: National Geographic]

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