The fossa 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. Its classification has been
controversial because its physical traits resemble those of cats, yet
other traits suggest a close relationship with viverrids. The fossa is
the largest mammalian carnivore on the island of Madagascar and has
been compared to a small cougar. Adults have a head-body length of
70–80 cm (28–31 in) and weigh between 5.5–8.6 kg (12–19 lb), with the
males larger than the females. It has semi-retractable claws and
flexible ankles that allow it to climb up and down trees head-first,
and also support jumping from tree-to-tree. The fossa is unique within
its family for the shape of its genitalia, which share traits with
those of cats and hyenas. The species is widespread, although
population densities are usually low. It is found solely in forested
habitat, and actively hunts both day and night. Over 50% of its diet
consists of lemurs, the endemic primates found on the island, though
tenrecs, rodents, lizards, birds, and other animals are also documented
as prey. The fossa is listed as "Vulnerable" by the International Union
for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The greatest threat to the species
is habitat destruction.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
The United States purchased France's claim to the Louisiana Territory
for 78 million francs, or less than US$0.03 per acre.
World War II: As Allied forces were closing in on Berlin, Adolf Hitler
and Eva Braun committed suicide in the Führerbunker after being married
for one day.
A boycott was held in Bristol to protest the Bristol Omnibus Company's
refusal to employ Black or Asian bus crews, drawing national attention
to racial discrimination in the United Kingdom.
Iranian Arab separatists captured the Iranian Embassy in London,
beginning a six-day siege.
A Dutch man drove his car at high speed into a parade in an attempt to
kill the Dutch royal family.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Pertaining to marshes; marshy, swampy
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The god of war has gone over to the other side.
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