Africa Mammals

Mammals in Madagascar I Encountered

Most of my sightings of mammals in Madagascar are lemurs, obviously. I’d put them in another post – Lemurs in Madagascar I Encountered

Lemurs are attractive but I wouldn’t forget that there were many interesting and lesser-known mammals I encountered in Madagascar.

Lesser hedgehog tenrec (Echinops telfairi)

Surprisingly, the tenrecs are related to sea cows and elephants but not hedgehogs! They look largely similar to hedgehogs of mainland Africa as a result of convergent evolution. Don’t judge an animal by its look. This species is endemic to the southern and southwestern parts of Madagascar. I found most of the tenrecs in Ifaty, southern Madagascar.

Ring-tailed mongoose (Galidia elegans)

Mongooses (not mongeese) here got a fired up tail. While the Ring-tailed lemur is the national animal of Madagascar, the Ring-tailed mongoose is unheard of for most people.

Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox)

Such a unique island fostering so many endemic species of a great variety where, surprisingly, there’s so little hostility between each of them. Take a look at this 2.5-foot cat-like laid-back mongoose-related mammal – The top apex predator and largest carnivore in Madagascar.

The story doesn’t end here. There is something unique about the fossa which not many have heard of. They have special genitalia. Males have a baculum – a bone in the penis. Females look just like males with an enlarged clitoris with an internal bone and spines. They even produce yellow secretion similar to that seen on adult males. Their anus is more internal than regular. Their scientific name Cryptoprocta actually means hidden anus.