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All 66 species of native land mammals are endemic to Madagascar. The familiar large mammal groups of Africa (hoofed animals, cats, elephants), are absent, the only near exception being a recently extinct pygmy hippopotamus.
The eight Malagasy carnivores five members of the Herpestidae, a family that includes the widespread mongooses and three civerrids (civets and their allies).
Galidia elegans is a diurnal and frequently seen Herpestid which is somewhat smaller than a house cat.