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fossa1

[fos-uh] /ˈfɒs ə/
noun, plural fossae
[fos-ee] /ˈfɒs i/ (Show IPA).
Anatomy
1.
a pit, cavity, or depression, as in a bone.
Origin
1820-1830
1820-30; < Latin: ditch, trench, fosse, short for fossa (terra) dug or dug out (earth), noun use of feminine of fossus, past participle of fodere to dig

fossa2

[fos-uh] /ˈfɒs ə/
noun
1.
a forest-dwelling genetlike mammal, Cryptoprocta ferox, of the civet family, native to Madagascar, with a short coat of white, black, gray, or brown: now rare.
Also called fossa cat.
Origin
1830-40; < Malagasy; compare earlier fossane (< French < Malagasy)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for fossa

fossa1

/ˈfɒsə/
noun (pl) -sae (-siː)
1.
an anatomical depression, trench, or hollow area
Word Origin
C19: from Latin: ditch, from fossus dug up, from fodere to dig up

fossa2

/ˈfɒsə/
noun
1.
a large primitive catlike viverrine mammal, Cryptoprocta ferox, inhabiting the forests of Madagascar: order Carnivora (carnivores). It has thick reddish-brown fur and preys on lemurs, poultry, etc
Word Origin
from Malagasy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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fossa in Medicine

fossa fos·sa (fŏs'ə)
n. pl. fos·sae (fŏs'ē')
A small longitudinal cavity or depression, as in a bone.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for fossa

largest carnivore native to Madagascar, a catlike forest dweller of the civet family, Viverridae. The fossa grows to a length of about 1.5 metres (5 feet), including a tail about 66 centimetres (26 inches) long, and has short legs and sharp, retractile claws. The fur is close, dense, and grayish to reddish brown. Generally most active at night, the fossa is both terrestrial and arboreal. It usually hunts alone and commonly feeds on birds and lemurs but also preys on livestock. Many legends centre on the fossa; some, such as reports of its savagery, are probably much exaggerated.

Learn more about fossa with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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