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Cute video of terrifying predator

Posted by Richard Conniff on March 13, 2007

The animal in this video looks baffled and benign, no doubt because it is chockful of drugs. Still, it’s a chance to see one of the fiercest predators on Earth–and one of the least known. The animal is the fossa (pronounced “foosa”), which is the nightmarish archenemy of Madagascar’s many lemur species. The speaker in the video is Luke Dollar of Pfeiffer University, who studies the fossa and has recently been chosen a 2007 National Geographic Emerging Explorer.

Here’s some background on the fossa: The myth persists that Madagascar, like many smaller islands, is a paradise without predators. In fact, it has eagles, hawks, and the fossa, a nocturnal mongoose. Our prosimian cousins, the lemurs, typically sleep on the upper branches of trees. But the fossa, has a knack for finding them and creeping up the trunk of the tree, its lean body pressed close to the bark. Then it leaps out into space and catches a lemur by the face or throat with its teeth.

Not my idea of a nice wake-up call.

Here’s a link to the video.

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One Response to “Cute video of terrifying predator”

  1. Bill Hall said

    So obviously the Disney folks knew about this critter, since a fossa is a featured bit player in Disney’s 2005 animated flick, “Madagascar”.

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