Cryptoprocta ferox

Cryptoprocta ferox is the largest carnivore on Madagascar and has been described as having the appearance of a small cougar or a jaguarondi, due to its rounded ears, cat-like body and long tail (Nowak, 2005).

The name Cryptoprocta means ‘hidden in the hinder parts’. This refers to an anal pouch containing a gland that secretes foul-smelling fluid (Gotch, 1979). This pouch also conceals the anus (Kohncke, 1986).

The name ferox refers to its exaggerated reputation of being fierce (Gotch, 1979).

These animals are terrestrial and arboreal (Hawkins, 2008) - they are excellent climbers and extremely agile when moving through trees (Nowak, 2005).

Species detail

  • Cryptoprocta ferox
    Taxonomy

    The name Cryptoprocta refers to an anal pouch which in Cryptoprocta ferox contains a scent gland that produces a foul-smelling fluid. Read on to discover other features that have also contributed to its name.

  • Cryptoprocta ferox
    Distribution

    Cryptoprocta ferox is endemic to Madagascar where it lives in forested areas, from coastal lowlands to mountainous regions. Find out more.

  • Cryptoprocta ferox
    Biology and behaviour

    Cryptoprocta ferox is the largest carnivore on Madagascar. It is solitary, except during the breeding season. Find out more.

  • Cryptoprocta ferox
    Conservation

    The number of fossa in the wild has decreased by a third in 20 years. Humans pose the main threat to their survival. Find out more.

  • Cryptoprocta ferox
    References

    Get reference information on Cryptoprocta ferox.

Images

Cryptoprocta ferox

Cryptoprocta ferox.

© Rafael Medina, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
Cryptoprocta ferox

Cryptoprocta ferox.

© Rafael Medina, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
Cryptoprocta ferox

Cryptoprocta ferox.

© Rafael Medina, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
Cryptoprocta ferox

Cryptoprocta ferox.

© j-fi, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
About the author
pangolin
Ms Louise Tomsett

Curator of Mammals, Vertebrates Division.

A word from the author

"Carnivora are of particular interest to me. C. ferox exhibits unusual characteristics and behaviour and is unique to Madagascar. In terms of threatened species, most people are familiar with charismatic carnivores such as tigers and pandas, so I chose C. ferox to highlight one of the lesser-known species under threat."

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