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Fossa

/ˈfäsə/

Noun

(Zoology)

pl. fossas

1. A mammal endemic to Madagascar (spelled ‘fosa’ in Malagasy and by some authors in English); Giant Fossa (Cryptoprocta spelea), a large, extinct mammalian predator that lived on Madagascar. (wikipedia.org)

2. The genus of the Malagasy civet. (wikipedia.org)

3. A large nocturnal reddish-brown catlike mammal of the civet family, found in the rain forests of Madagascar. (Google Dictionary)

(Anatomy)

pl. fossae

1. A depression or hollow in a bone or other part of the body. (wikipedia.org)

2. A pit, groove, cavity, or depression, of greater or less depth. (wiktionary.org)

3. A pit, groove, cavity, or depression, of greater or less depth; as, the temporal fossa on the side of the skull; the nasal fossae containing the nostrils in most birds. (biology-online.org)

(Geology)

1. A depression on the body of an extraterrestrial body, such as a planet or moon. (wikipedia.org)

2. A long, narrow, shallow depression on the body of an extraterrestrial body, such as a planet or moon. (wiktionary.org)

Word origin: From Old French fosse “ditch, grave, dungeon” (12c.), from Latin fossa “ditch,” in full fossa terra, literally “dug earth,” from fem. past participle of fodere “to dig”

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