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PostSubject: Fossa (animal)   Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:10 am

The fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) (pronounced /ˈfɒsə/ or /ˈfuːsə/,[4] Malagasy [ˈfusə̥]) is a cat-like, carnivorous mammal that is endemic to Madagascar. It is a member of the Eupleridae, a family of carnivorans closely related to the mongoose family (Herpestidae). Its classification has been controversial because its physical traits resemble those of cats, yet other traits suggest a close relationship with viverrids (most civets and their relatives). Its classification, along with that of the other Malagasy carnivores, influenced hypotheses about how many times mammalian carnivores have colonized the island. With genetic studies demonstrating that the fossa and all other Malagasy carnivores are most closely related to each other (forming a clade, recognized as the family Eupleridae), carnivores are now thought to have colonized the island once around 18 to 20 million years ago.

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