The height of romance
The fossa’s mating system is thought to be unique among carnivores. When a female is ready to mate she climbs to a spot high up in a tree where she’s visible and mews to attract attention. Males then congregate below and fight for access to her, breaking their usual silence to howl at each other. The successful male clambers up for some precarious treetop mating, armed with a peculiar adaptation; his penis is covered in backward-pointing spines that keep him attached to the female until copulation is finished. The female can accept multiple suitors over several days before vacating her perch for another female.