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illustration Fossorial



Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Latin, mid-19th century


Burrowing, specifically related to animals.


Limbs that are adapted and particularly well suited to burrowing or digging.

Examples of Fossorial in a sentence

"There's a fossorial animal digging up holes in my backyard — I suspect an armadillo."

"The fossorial limbs of badgers make them excellent at digging the burrows they live in. "

About Fossorial

Fossorial comes from the medieval Latin "fossorius," which was originally from the Latin "fossor" (meaning "digger") and "fodere" (meaning "to dig").

Did you Know?

Fossorial animals are not the same as subterranean animals — they might burrow and dig, but they don’t spend all their time underground. Subterranean creatures, such as mole rats and earthworms, create complicated underground networks of burrows and spend most of their time underground. Fossorial animals, including groundhogs or chipmunks, create simple burrows and spend a lot of time above ground.

illustration Fossorial

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