, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 379-383,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 28 Oct 2009

An unusual case of cooperative hunting in a solitary carnivore


Cooperative hunting has been documented for several group-living carnivores and had been invoked as either the cause or the consequence of sociality. We report the first detailed observation of cooperative hunting for a solitary species, the Malagasy fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox). We observed a 45 min hunt of a 3 kg arboreal primate by three male fossas. The hunters changed roles during the hunt and subsequently shared the prey. We hypothesize that social hunting in fossas could have either evolved to take down recently extinct larger lemur prey, or that it could be a by-product of male sociality that is beneficial for other reasons.