The Durrell's vontsira's closest relative is the rainforest-dwelling brown-tailed vontsira (Salanoia concolor). The two are members of a small group of animals known as Malagasy carnivores—meat-eaters found only on Madagascar. The newly discovered species probably preys on crabs and crayfish in the marsh, but may also eat smaller mammals, like rats. "Its teeth are bigger and more robust than those of brown-tailed vontsiras, so it's likely that it is tackling stuff that's more difficult to chew up," says Frank Hawkins, vice president of the Africa and Madagascar program at Conservation International. Such differences in the Durrell's vontsira's teeth, skull and paws helped taxonomists at the museum confirm that it is a distinct species from its cousin, from which it may have diverged in the past 10,000 years.