One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A shallow depression or hollow.
hollow, indentation, dent, dint, cavity, concavity, dip, pit, hole, pothole, sink, sinkhole, excavation, trough, craterView synonyms
- ‘Older children and adults experience ‘hot and sweaty fossae and folds’ involving flexor surfaces such as the antecubital and popliteal fossae, as well as the flexor wrists and ankles.’
- ‘If one classifies CSF leaks according to location they may be found in the anterior, middle or posterior cranial fossae.’
- ‘Most masses in the iliac fossae arise from the intestine and colon.’
- ‘After pre-operative embolisation, the tumour was resected from the infratemporal and pterygopalatine fossae, sphenoid sinus, nasopharynx, nasal cavity and maxillary antrum.’
- ‘They occupy the ovarian fossae on the lateral pelvic wall.’
Mid 17th century: from Latin, literally ‘ditch’, feminine past participle of fodere ‘to dig’.
A large nocturnal reddish-brown catlike mammal of the civet family, found in the rainforests of Madagascar.
Cryptoprocta ferox, family Viverridae
- ‘A catlike civet known as a fossa prowls the rain forest of Madagascar's Ranomafana National Park.’
- ‘Catlike predators with long tails, fossas hunt everything from lemurs and mice to wild pigs.’
- ‘It was also home to animals that preyed on lemurs, among them the large, catlike fossa, which I was to encounter many times.’
- ‘Foreigners can also volunteer with Earthwatch to help track lemurs or radio-collar Madagascar's lynx-like fossa.’
- ‘Could the fossa be a link between the marsupial and the mammals without pouches?’
- ‘The explanation for the strange appearance of fossas and other Madagascar animals goes back some 160 million years ago in geologic time.’
- ‘Brad Bailey joined an Earthwatch group tracking the endangered fossa cat in Madagascar, making a 30-minute film based on his experience.’
- ‘Their big ears help them search for food and hear such enemies as catlike fossas.’
- ‘Radio collars reveal how far fossas range (up to 25 kilometers or 16 miles a day).’
- ‘He has trapped fossas, examined them thoroughly and equipped some with radio collars to track their activities once they are back in the wild.’
- ‘Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, is renowned for its wealth of unique plants and land animals, including lemurs, fossas, and giant jumping rats.’
Mid 19th century: from Malagasy fosa.
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