Very little information was known about fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) nutrient digestibility and passage rates. Because of this, as with all exotic animals, nutritional needs are based on the use of a suitable model species. Domestic cats have been assumed to be the most reasonable model for most carnivores due to shared similarities in digestive tract anatomy.
In 2007, a Papillion La Vista South High School junior, Nichole Johnson, along with Omaha's Zoo's Comparative Nutrition Department designed a series of experiments to determine nutrient digestibility and passage rates of fossa. Nichole presented and competed with this project at the regional science fair, winning top honors. She progressed to present the project at the National Science Fair in Boston, MA, in February, 2008. In addition, theComparative Nutrition Department presented the research nationally, in order to disseminate the important findings to other zoo nutritionists globally.