F is the sixth letter of the alphabet, which is mostly used not only for objects or in sentences but also for animals. Here are some fascinating pictures and videos of animals that start with F. I hope you will find it interesting and worth educating yourself about. Explore.
Table of Contents
Animals that Start with F
Here are 10 animals that start with F
- Flounder fish
- Fallow Deer
- Frilled Lizard
- Fire Salamander
Cool and interesting facts about Flamingo
- Flamingos live up to 20 to 30 years in the wild and up to 50 years in zoos
- The number of eggs laid is usually one (1)
- Males of all species are larger than females in Flamingoes
- Once shed, flamingo feathers quickly lose their color
- The only flamingo species with yellow legs is the Andean flamingo.
- They have no sense of smell but good hearing ability.
- A flamingo’s feathers don’t turn pink until it reaches 2 or 3 years old
With their pink and crimson plumage, long legs and necks, and strongly hooked bills, flamingos cannot be mistaken for any other type of bird. These beauties have long fascinated people.
Flamingos are a type of wading bird in the family Phoenicopteridae. They live in lagoons or large, shallow lakes. These bodies of water may be quite salty or caustic, too much so for most other animals.
Flamingos are birds that are known for their long legs (with webbed feet), S-shaped neck, curved beak, and pink feathers. This bird uses its curved beak to shovel algae into its mouth when its head is underwater. These birds range from 3 to 4 feet tall and can weigh up to 9 pounds, depending on the species.
Flamingos run a few paces so as to gather speed in order to fly. This speed is not related to the ground but rather to the air, so they usually take off facing into the wind.
While flying, flamingos are quite distinctive, with their long necks stretched out in front and their equally long legs trailing behind. As the birds fly, they flap their wings fairly rapidly and almost continuously.
The flamingos follow each other closely, using a variety of formations that help them take advantage of the wind currents. That is they fly collectively as a flock. This bird can have a wingspan as wide as 60 inches.
Flamingos are very social birds; they live in colonies whose populations can number in the thousands. According to believe, it is to maximize food intake, avoid predators, and use scarcely suitable nesting sites more efficiently.
Flamingos are also known as very noisy birds with their noises and vocalizations ranging from grunting or growling to nasal honking.
Flamingos, as stated, live in lagoons or large, shallow lakes. There are four flamingo species distributed throughout the Americas (including the Caribbean), and two species native to Afro-Eurasia.
Over time, people have used flamingos for food and medicine. Currently, no flamingo species are endangered. But as it is with many wild species, the threat of habitat loss due to road construction and housing development is causing some populations to be threatened.
The Andean flamingo is considered the rarest of the flamingo species. Its habitat is in the high mountains of Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. In 1924 the Puna flamingo was thought to be extinct. However, it was rediscovered in 1957, and in 1989, about 100 Caribbean flamingos died in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula from lead poisoning, due to the ingestion of lead shot.
It is not illegal to have a flamingo as a pet. However, the question is are you prepared to make provisions for the necessary requirements for its survival and thriving? Requirements such as an adequate climate, a large body of fresh water, and microscopic food.
Zoos feed their flamingos a specific food that is not within the reach of the general public in any form. Flamingos eat microscopic food such as algae, crustaceans, brine shrimp, diatoms, and aquatic plants.
So it is not easy to get a “flamingo diet,” since it is not sold to individuals, and there is no way you can raise enough natural food for it yourself.
2. Flounder fish
Cool and interesting facts about the Flounder Fish.
- Flounder fish appear normal at birth and undergo a type of metamorphosis to a flatfish with eyes moving to the top of their bodies.
- Flounder fish are born with eyes on either side of their body, but it does not stay that way for long.
- Females are slightly larger than males, and some species can reach up to 37 inches in length.
Flounder fish, also known as Platichthys flesus in Latin is a group of several different species that are distantly related.
These are demersal fish, which means that they are found at the bottom of oceans or estuaries where they camouflage themselves and lay against the substrate.
This fish is in a unique group of fish that have characteristically flat bodies. Their oddly shaped bodies are entirely flat, and both of their eyes are located on the top part of their bodies.
The flat body of the fish is as a result of metamorphosis. In the larval phase, they appear to be normal fish. When maturing into an adult, their body becomes entirely flat!
Larval flounder fish are born with eyes on either side of their head, but as they reach the juvenile stage one of the eyes moves to the top of their body.
Their flat appearance is ideal for their bottom-dwelling behavior. They can weigh up to 20-22 pounds depending on the species. Their main diet is made up of fish spawns, small fish, crustaceans, and polychaetes.
This group of saltwater flatfish species is native to South America, and they mainly live in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
However, some live in other regions as well throughout the world, such as the Atlantic coast of North America, the northern Pacific Ocean, and the coasts of Europe.
There are about 240 species of the flounder fish families (Paralichthyidae and Bothidae) and the Plueronectidae family makes up around 100 of the Flounder species.
Various species inhabit salty oceans around the world. Most species have stable conservation status. However, the Atlantic Halibut is considered to be an endangered species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list.
For the most part, flounder are semi-aggressive fish and they need to be kept in very large aquariums. And not to be kept with any species small enough to be viewed as prey.
Been a carnivorous fish, feeding primarily on small fish and crustaceans in the wild. Therefore in the home aquarium, you must be prepared to offer flounder a variety of fresh and frozen meaty foods including worms, shrimp, and small fish.
3. Fallow Deer
Cool and interesting facts about a Fallow Deer.
- Fallow deer have very good vision and can see the tiniest details at great distances.
- Fallow deer can jump quite high and are also very good swimmers.
- Their average number of Offspring is always one fawn, though twins are seen in some cases
- A fawn takes its first steps before it is thirty minutes old.
- They live up to 12-16 years
The fallow deer is an elegant, pretty, medium-sized deer; with a typically spotted coat that is a member of the Cervidae family, which includes deer, elk, reindeer, and related species.
The males have broad, palmate antlers. The fallow deer are of different colors, but they are mostly pale gingery-brown, with white spots on the back, a characteristic black and white tail, and a white rump patch outlined in black.
Some animals are darker brown without any spots, and others are very pale, almost white.
Fallow deer are a social species, roaming in groups that are usually divided into two: females with fawns in one group and males in another group. Males and females only come together during the breeding season.
Throughout the year, they may mix freely and socialize in groups in open areas. They communicate with body language, vocalizations, and smells. Vocalization can occur through barking, bleating, and peeping by fawns to contact their mothers or wailing and groaning in distress.
Fallow deer have also been observed to practice polygny which is of two kinds: harems and lekking. They can survive in a range of climates, from cool to humid to warm and dry.
They prefer a combination of different vegetation types, especially old broad-leaf deciduous forests, with grassy areas here and there, but also occur in mixed forests, subalpine vegetation, broad-leaf forests, grasslands, woodlands, scrublands, low mountains, and savanna.
Fallow deer are native to Asia and Europe, though they have been introduced to four other continents! Fallow deer are often farmed on ranches, in places like Texas and Argentina, “hunts” for these deer are sold to wealthy gun owners, though subsistence hunting of fallow deer has not occurred in a long time.
They live in the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub, the temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, the temperate coniferous forests, and the temperate grasslands.
Fallow deer have experienced numerous threats, such as intensive hunting, habitat loss and fragmentation, natural predation, and competition with livestock.
The IUCN Red List and other sources do not provide the Fallow deer’s total population size. Currently, fallow deer are classified as the least concern (LC) on the list of threatened species, but in fact, they are already extinct or critically endangered in their native range in Turkey, the Middle East, and Iran.
Most species of deer can be fairly easily tamed. They can make very exotic, adorable, and convenient pets. However, you need to have enough space within your garden for its free movement, as it does not need to be chained or caged.
Cool and interesting facts about a frog.
- A frog’s eye and nose are the top of its head.
- The largest frog species is known as “the Goliath frog”.
- Using their long legs, many frogs can leap 20 times their body height!
- Frogs drink water through their skin.
- There are about 6000 species of frogs found around the world.
A frog is any member of a diverse and largely carnivorous group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians composing the order Anura (ανοὐρά, literally without tail in Ancient Greek). Frogs account for around 88% of extant amphibian species. They are also one of the five most diverse vertebrate orders.
An adult frog has a stout body, protruding eyes, anteriorly-attached tongue, limbs folded underneath, and no tail (the tail of tailed frogs is an extension of the male cloaca).
Frogs have glandular skin that varies in color, with secretions ranging from distasteful to toxic. Adult frogs live in fresh water and on dry land; some species are adapted for living underground or in trees.
Frogs typically lay their eggs in water, which hatch into aquatic larvae called tadpoles that have tails and internal gills. They have highly specialized rasping mouth parts suitable for herbivorous, omnivorous, or planktivorous diets.
It is important to note that Frogs come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. The largest frogs are Goliath frogs (Conraua goliath) from Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea; they can grow to be more than 34cm long and weigh 3.3 kg. The world’s smallest known frog is a tiny species called Paedophryne amauensis from Papua New Guinea. This frog grows to an average length of 7.7 mm, making it the smallest known vertebrate on Earth.
Frogs and toads are among the most diverse animal groups. They are known for croaking sound and and fantastic jumping skill though not all frog hops.
Many frogs utilize camouflage, whether it’s to stay hidden from predators or blend into their environment so prey don’t notice them. Poison dart frogs are called the “jewels of the rainforest” because they come in various colors that warn predators they’re toxic and shouldn’t be eaten.
However, even these bright colors can act as camouflage in a vibrant rainforest. While some have a translucent green skin in appearance such as Glass frogs
Frogs produce a wide range of vocalizations, particularly in their breeding season, and exhibit many different kinds of complex behaviors to attract mates, to fend off predators and to generally survive.
Frogs are widely distributed, ranging from the tropics to sub-arctic regions, but the greatest concentration of species diversity is in tropical rainforest. They are found on every continent except Antarctica. For their reproduction to take place they need to be around water sources, however their habitats extremely vary.
According to scientists, there are over 6,000 species of frogs worldwide. Frogs and toads make up the largest group of amphibians. Species in this order, called Anura, substantially out number those in the two other living orders of amphibians Caudata (salamanders) and Gymnophiona (caecilians).
Amphibians are the most threatened group of vertebrates on Earth; 40% of the amphibian species assessed by the IUCN are at risk of extinction. This means that many frog species are declining and need help from humans if they are to survive.
Frog extinction has disturbing implications for humans. The amphibians are highly susceptible to environmental disturbances, making frog populations a good indicator of the health of an environment.
Frogs can be kept as exotic pets as they are generally undemanding, often visually appealing, and can be kept under fairly basic conditions.
They are cost effective especially the common frogs, however there are also expensive species. The feeding of frog does not require much, they feed on variety of food such as mice, crickets etc depending on the size of the frog.
5. Frilled lizard
Cool and interesting facts about the Frilled Lizard
- Frilled Lizard has an average life span of up to 20 years in the wild
- Frilled lizards can stand up and run on their hind legs
- They are kept in some households as exotic pets that need special care
- The female lays eggs up to 8 inches underground
- Frilled lizards are not poisonous, they don’t spit venom.
- It’s sometimes called the bicycle lizard because of the way its hind legs move when it’s running
The frilled lizard scientifically called Chlamydosaurus kingie is also known as the frill-necked lizard or frilled dragon, is a species of lizard in the family Agamidae.
This species is the only member of the genus Chlamydosaurus. Its names come from the large frill around its neck, which usually stays folded against the lizard’s body. There are several species in the same family (Agamidae) as the frilled lizard, however the frilled lizard is distinctive from all of them.
This lizard is of diverse colors and sizes from region to region. Males are larger and more robust than females. The larger adults reach about 90 cm (3 feet) from head to tail and weigh up to 1.1 pounds.
The frilled lizard is an arboreal species that spend most of its life up in the trees. It spends as little time on the ground as possible, mostly to feed, interact socially, or to travel to a new tree. Males move around more, 69 m (75 yd) per day versus 23 m (25 yd) for females.
Male lizards exercise their boundaries with frill displays. In the wet season the frilled is lizard is more active, when they select smaller trees and are more commonly seen near the ground, while during the dry season, they use larger trees and are found at greater heights.
Frilled lizards are capable of moving bipedally and do so while hunting or to escape from predators. To keep balance, they lean their heads far back enough, so it lines up behind the tail base.
When defending itself this creature rises on its hind legs, opens its yellow-colored mouth, unfurls the colorful, pleated skin flap that encircles its head, and hisses feels threatened.
If an attacker is is not intimidated by these antics, the lizard simply turns tail, mouth and frill open, and bolts, legs splaying left and right. It continues to run without stopping or looking back until it reaches the tree for safety.
The species mainly inhabits savannahs and sclerophyll woodlands. It prefers highly elevated areas with good soil drainage and a greater variety of tree species, mostly Eucalyptus species, and avoids lower plains with mostly Melaleuca and Pandanus trees.
It is native to northern Australia and southern New Guinea. Its range in Australia stretches from the Kimberley region of Western Australia east though the Top End of the Northern Territory to Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula and nearby islands of Muralug, Badu, and Moa, and south to Brisbane. While in New Guinea, it inhabits in the Trans-Fly ecosystem on both the Papua New Guinean and Indonesian sides of the island.
Scientists think the population of this lizard is decreasing due to threats to its habitat and an increase in predators such as feral cats.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red List of Threatened Species, the exact population of this reptile is not known. This is because these lizards are quick to hide making it difficult to record an accurate count. However, it is considered to be of Least Concern.
Frilled lizard are not common to find, making its domestication a slight difficult task. However in any case you want to keep it as a pet. Provide branches for climbing and some foliage for your lizard to hide among the leaves. They usually only venture out of the trees to eat, fight, or flee
House it in at least a 55-gallon large tank, which gives it some space for exercise. They feed on crickets, dubia roaches, mealworms, hornworms, and other bugs or small invertebrates.
They will also eat fish and rodents (not more than once a week for these). Some will also eat some greens and fruits. Frilled dragons are intelligent, and can make great and fascinating pets.
Cool and interesting facts about the Falcon
- The Falcon has a top Speed 200 mph making it the fastest of the animals on earth, both on land and in the air!
- It has an average lifespan of 12 – 18 years
- The cardiovascular system of the falcon bird allows them to beat its wings at a rate of 5 m/s.
- These birds can catch their food while they are in mid-flight with their beaks.
- Falcons have incredible eyesight, which is why they are able to capture their food so easily.
- They can seek both regular color and ultraviolet color, exceeding the range of humans.
The falcons are the largest genus in the Falconinae subfamily of Falconidae, which itself also includes another sub-family comprising caracaras and a few other species. Falcons go by the scientific name Falconiformes. Falcon birds can range from 13 to 23 inches, weighing approximately 1.5 to 3.3 pounds.
Most of these birds of prey ultimately range from small to medium size, and their head is adorned with a black crown of feathers. This blackness extends to their nap and wedge as well, connecting the colors to look like a helmet over the bird’s head.
Fledgling falcons, in their first year of flying, have longer flight feathers, which make their configuration more like that of a general-purpose bird such as a broad wing.
Falcon birds have a close relationship with hawks, possessing the same ferocity and quick reactions. Their streamlined bodies display slender, pointed wings. With their agility, these birds can often snatch their prey while they are in mid-flight.
The largest falcon is the gyrfalcon at up to 65 cm in length. The smallest falcon species is the Pygmy falcon which measures just 20 cm.
As is the case with many birds of prey, falcons have exceptional powers of vision; the visual acuity of one species has been measured at 2.6 times that of a normal human.
Falcons, rather than being one species of bird, actually include 40 different species with specific traits that make each one unique.
Even with many different types of falcons, this group of birds is wholly considered to be the fastest-living animal. Peregrine falcons have been recorded diving at speeds of over 200 miles per hour!
The falcon tends to be solitary, primarily coming together during the mating season and no other times of the year. During the rest of the time, these birds will spend the days either resting at the tops of tall trees or hunting down food.
The majority of species will hunt in the daytime, taking any opportunity with the sunlight (even at dusk and dawn) to hunt.
Falcon birds will migrate seasonally, seeking out a milder region when the weather is increasingly cold during the winter.
Interestingly, some of them do not migrate at all. When it comes to their home, falcons are incredibly territorial. They will fight and attack to defend their resting place, protecting themselves and their youth from humans, birds, and other animals.
The falcon bird makes their nest in tree holes, as well as on cliffs and natural ledges. They are seen around the world, including areas from the United States to the Tundra.
Each species reside in their preferred areas. For example, Peregrine falcons like to travel even further to every continent, and even feel comfortable in the desert. However, as well-accustomed as they are too extreme temperatures, the only area that this bird does not inhabit is Antarctica.
The total number of falcons around the world is currently unknown, but their conservation status is considered to be “least concern” on the endangered species list. The most recent estimates suggest that there are about 140,000 falcons in the world.
The peregrine falcon, however, was formerly considered endangered when certain pesticides were used over 50 years ago, killing much of the population. There are many laws that protect these birds (along with hawks and eagles) from being hunted as meat.
Falcons to a very large extent can never be a pet, as in most places licensing, training and freedom for it to hunt are required. You cannot expect falcons to behave like a ‘pet’ because these birds are wild, aggressive, and cannot be your feathered companion.
It is not in their character to be domesticated. They are not at all social, the least they can do is tolerate you. The birds are only devoted to their hunting behavior and survival.
Cool and interesting facts about Ferrets
- Ferrets have high mortality in the first year.
- Their average lifespan in the wild may be 4-5 years.
- Ferrets are generally absent or in low numbers in areas of high rainfall, where there are few rabbits, or deep within forested areas.
The ferret (Mustela furo) is a small, domesticated species belonging to the family Mustelidae along with stoats, weasels, badgers, mink and otters.
The ferret has a body length of 320 mm-460 mm and a tail of 110-180 mm. In this dimorphic species males are significantly larger than females, averaging 1.1-1.3 kg (maximum 1.85 kg) with females ranging from 400-1,100 grams.
Their color varies, with a typical white or cream undercoat and a variable quantity of longer dark guard hairs, giving some animals a black looking appearance while others appear almost white.
The tail is uniformly dark. A variable dark mask occurs across the eyes and above the nose. The main food of ferrets is rabbits and hares.
Ferrets are mainly nocturnal, with a home range that is variable according to food supply. A ferret will usually exclude others of the same sex from its central home range.
Scent glands are used extensively to leave territorial scent markers. Ferrets will often revisit the site of a kill. Ferrets usually mate in September. The litter, usually of 4-8 (up to 12), is born in October or November, with young independent by late January. Females can have a second litter after this if food is abundant.
Ferrets are not as widespread as stoats. They were first introduced into the American continents in the 17th century, and were used extensively from 1860 until the start of World War II to protect grain stores in the American West from rodents.
However, ferrets have a significant effect on many riverbed breeding birds eg. black stilt, dotterel species and pied oystercatcher. It has been claimed that New Zealand has the world’s largest feral population of ferret–polecat hybrids, Ferrets even threatens New Zealand’s farming industry as they can carry bovine tuberculosis (Tb), as possums do. In some possum-free areas, ferrets have tested positive for Tb.
Ferrets may have been domesticated since ancient times, but there is widespread disagreement because of the sparseness of written accounts and the inconsistency of those which survive.
It is the most likely domesticated form of the wild European polecat (Mustela putorius), evidenced by their interfertility. Other mustelids include the stoat, badger and mink. In North America, the ferret has become an increasingly prominent choice of household pet, with over five million in the United States alone.
The legality of ferret ownership varies by location. In New Zealand and some other countries, restrictions apply due to the damage done to native fauna by feral colonies of polecat–ferret hybrids.
The domestic ferret is often confused with the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), a species native to North America.
8. Fire Salamander
Cool and Interesting facts about Fire Salamander
- The typical lifespan is over 6-14 years with an average maximum of 30 years but can live up to 50 years in rare cases.
- In captivity as a pet, its lifespan is usually 6-14 years with an average of 10 years.
The fire salamander belongs to class Amphibia (amphibians), order Urodela (lizard-like amphibians), and family Salamandridae (true salamanders and newts). The scientific name of the fire salamander is Salamandra salamandra.
There are 13 subspecies; two of them (Fastuosa and Bernadezi) are viviparous, while the rest are ovoviviparous. It is black with yellow spots or stripes to a varying degree; some specimens can be nearly completely black, while on others the yellow is dominant.
Shades of red and orange may sometimes appear, either replacing or mixing with the yellow according to subspecies. Fire salamanders can have a very long lifespan; one specimen lived for more than 50 years in the Museum Koenig, a German natural history museum.
The behavior of the fire salamander is largely solitary. A reclusive amphibian, it prefers to hide under logs, leaves, other objects, and around mossy tree trunks. It is nocturnal, being active in the evening and at night, but they are diurnal when it rains.
They are carnivorous in diet; their diet consists of various insects, such as spiders, millipedes, centipedes, earthworms, silkworm larvae, and slugs, but they also occasionally eat newts and young frogs. In captivity, they eat crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and silkworm larvae.
Fire Salamander belongs to genus Salamandra, which has 6 species of salamanders found in central and southern Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia.
Fire salamanders inhabits in the forests of central Europe and are more common in hilly areas. They prefer deciduous forests since they like to hide in fallen leaves and around mossy tree trunks.
They need small brooks or ponds with clean water in their habitat for the development of the larvae. Whether on land or in water, fire salamanders are inconspicuous.
There are about 13 species of the Fire Salamander. The numbers of these animals are stable and listed as Least Concern according to the IUCN. However, research on estimated population sizes is needed.
Salamanders are ideal for people who are fascinated by colorful, lively amphibians. They make good display animal. Salamanders and newts are among the most popular exotic pets for good reason.
They’re striking to look at and fun to watch. Like any pet, however, they need the right care and feeding if they are going to thrive.
Cool and Interesting facts about Fox
- Fox have an average lifespan of 3-11 years
- Foxes can make over 40 different sounds.
- Foxes can make use of the Earth’s magnetic field to hunt.
- Foxes only reproduce once a year.
- People fear fox but actually they are considered to be friendly.
- Foxes have impeccable hearing.
The fox is an omnivorous, dog-like mammal, and clever creatures belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. Their clever ability creates room for easy adaptation to their environments.
They are known for their cunning and a favorite subject of folklore. Foxes come in various sizes and colors but they all have pointed ears, long snouts, thick fur, and big bushy tails.
A fox is generally smaller than other members of the Canidae family like coyotes, wolves, and most domestic dogs. There are about 12 species of fox around the world. Fennec foxes are the smallest weighing up to three pounds, while their cousins, the red fox, can weigh up to 31 pounds.
Foxes are solitary and nocturnal creatures that tend to fight less than other canidae. The fox’s thick tail helps its balance; however, it has other uses as well.
A fox uses its tail as a warm cover in cold weather and as a signal flag to communicate with other foxes. Foxes also signal each other by making scent posts urinating on trees or rocks to announce their presence.
They solitary hunters who feed on rodents, rabbits, birds, and other small gamebut their diet can be as flexible as their home habitat.
Foxes will eat fruit and vegetables, fish, frogs, and even worms. If living among humans, foxes will opportunistically dine on garbage and pet food.
Foxes live on every continent except Antarctica. However, they are often found around urban areas in the Northern Hemisphere.
The most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with about 47 recognized subspecies.
Only 12 species are considered “true foxes”. Overall, the conservation status of foxes is considered Least Concerned, meaning the population is stable.
Foxes have had a long relationship with humans because, like dogs, they always seem to be around. They are often considered pests or nuisance creatures for their opportunistic attacks on poultry and other small livestock. Fox attacks on humans are not common.
Many foxes adapt well to human environments, with several species classified as “resident urban carnivores” for their ability to sustain populations entirely within urban boundaries.
There are many records of domesticated red foxes and others, but rarely of sustained domestication
Cool and interesting facts about Fossa
- Fossa lives up to 15 years in the wild and 20 in captivity
- The Fossa is well known for its fierce and dominant approach to hunting as it is extremely rare that its intended prey will successfully escape.
- The Fossa can run unbelievably quickly and added to its incredible agility in the tree tops, once a meal has been spotted the Fossa is very adept at then catching it.
- The Fossa tends to measure around a metre long with the same length tail on top of that however, in recent years fossils of the now extinct Giant Fossa has been uncovered in the jungle s of Madagascar, with the biggest Giant Fossa fossil measured nearly six meters in length and was thought to have weighed around 17 kg!
The fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is a slender, long-tailed, cat-like mammal. It is a member of Eupleridae, the family of carnivorans, and closely related to the Malagasy civet.
Adults have a head-body length of 70–80 cm and weigh between 5.5 and 8.6 kg, with the males larger than the females.
It has semi-retractable claws (meaning it can extend but not retract its claws fully) 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 a solitary and nocturnal mammal that patrols territories as large as four square kilometres and marks their presence with scent released from their large anal gland.
The Fossa spends the vast majority of its life high in the trees but is known to both move about and hunt on the ground as well.
They are incredibly agile at both climbing and leaping, which is greatly helped by their long and slender tail and the fact that they move about on the flat soles of their feet means that they have more balance and stability when landing precariously on branches.
Although the Fossa is largely nocturnal, they are known to also hunt during the day particularly when there is a lack of food but generally spend the daylight hours resting in a hollow tree, cave or an abandoned termite mound. Fossa is considered cathemeral that is it is active during the day and in the night.
Fossas communicate using sounds, scents, and visual signals. Vocalizations include purring, a threatening call, and a call of fear, consisting of “repeated loud, coarse inhalations and gasps of breath”.
The fossa is the largest mammalian carnivore that is endemic to Madagascar. The Fossa is an animal that is found nowhere else on Earth. They rely on dense, forested areas where there is not only an ample food source but also plenty of space where the Fossa can establish its large territory.
Madagascar and has been compared to a small cougar, as it has convergently evolved, many cat-like features. Its classification has been controversial because its physical traits resemble those of cats, yet other traits suggest a close relationship with viverrids.
Its classification, along with that of the other Malagasy carnivores, influenced hypotheses about how many times mammalian carnivores have colonized Madagascar.
There are thought to be less than 2,500 Fossa individuals left in the wild of Madagascar. Thereby making Fossa to be listed by the IUCN as being an endangered animal species and therefore one that is at risk of becoming extinct in its natural environment in the near future.
It is generally feared by the Malagasy people and is often protected by their faddy taboo including national parks and reserves do exist on the island, however none is large enough to ensure that a decent sized Fossa population can survive as each individual requires a relatively large territory and there is simply too much competition. The greatest threat to the fossa is habitat destruction.
When early explorers first arrived on Madagascar there would have been the most incredible array of unique fauna and flora, much of which is now extinct today.
Since their arrival Humans have exploited one of the world’s largest islands leaving just 10% of the tropical forest cover that would have historically stretched across the country.
Land clearance for agriculture such as palm oil plantations and deforestation of the unique tropical trees has led to drastic declines in the population numbers of numerous species, including the elusive Fossa. They are also hunted by farmers who want to protect their livestock and also by some who (unfairly) believe that they are of danger to people
I do hope it was a intriguing exploration as it has exposed you to some the behaviors, distribution, domestication and most especially the conservation status of each of these animals. Click on the recommendations to read about some animals you not have known that starts with the letters of the alphabet.
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- 10 Animals that Start with J – See Photos and Videos
- 15 Animals that Start with X – See Photos and Videos
- Top 10 Most Endangered Animals in Africa
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Ahamefula Ascension is a Real Estate Consultant, Data Analyst, and Content writer. He is the founder of Hope Ablaze Foundation and a Graduate of Environmental Management in one of the prestigious colleges in the country. He is obsessed with Reading, Research and Writing.