Animals that live in burrows

Have you ever wondered what a burrow is? These are cavities built by animals that use them for various purposes, including shelter against predators or climatic adversities or rather, as a breeding, nesting and rearing site. There is a vast variety of burrows, all of them differ depending on the animal that builds them. They can be simple, from a simple hole a few centimeters deep to more complex burrows, such as those that are made up of a network of tunnels that lead to different chambers at great depths.


We will start by mentioning the moles that are possibly the first animal that comes to mind when we think of animals that live underground . This family is made up of 42 species found only in the Northern Hemisphere, encompassing North America, Europe, and Asia. The burrow of the moles consists of deep tunnels that usually end in chambers that they use as a nest. It is worth mentioning that the anatomy of moles is adapted to life underground, so their eyes are rudimentary and they have a great sense of touch.

On the other hand, the European rabbit is another animal species known to inhabit burrows. As its name indicates, it is endemic to Europe, although it has been introduced to other continents causing severe impacts. In particular, the rabbit hole can be classified as simple when it builds gazaperas (which is a gallery and a chamber) or with a higher level of complexity, when it builds living complexes (that is, a set of galleries and chambers).


Among the burrowing animals, there is the marmot, a large rodent whose original range covers the western Alps. This species is characterized by having a social and diurnal behavior, although it spends most of its life inside the burrow . It is curious that they have two types of burrows: the hibernation and the summer, but on some occasions they can coincide.

Eurasian badger

The Eurasian badger, is a carnivorous mammal of social and nocturnal behavior. As for its burrow, it has its own name: badgers . These are characterized by having herbs, mosses and leaves that they themselves arrange and renew for the daytime rest. In addition, the dachshunds stand out for their particular design that consists of a main and secondary chamber, main, ventilation and exhaust ducts and a latrine.

Common fox

The common fox, scientifically known as Vulpes vulpes , is a canid that is widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere. It is characterized by being omnivorous, although its main food is rabbits. With regard to burrows, these are of crucial importance for the rearing of newborns. Fox burrows in particular are constantly being modified and perfected as they tend to use the same burrow for years.

Lechuza vizcachera

This particular bird, whose scientific name is Athene cunicularia , has an extensive distribution throughout America, from western Canada to southern Argentina. In each country that covers its distribution, it is known by a different common name. For example, in Chile it is called small, in Colombia murruco and in Argentina, lechucita vizcachera. It is a species of bird of prey that inhabits open areas and nest and rest in burrows . These burrows can be built by themselves, but they also use those built by vizcachas (hence their name) and armadillos.

Mouthless crab

The mouthless crab or blue crab, is a crustacean native to the Pacific Ocean, whose distribution ranges from Mexico to Peru. This species stands out for the blue color of its shell and the strong claws it has, which allow it to capture food and dig burrows . With regard to burrows, these are the refuge of a single crab, although sometimes more than one crab can coexist in the same burrow. Due to the peculiarities they have, the burrows have been studied to understand the characteristics of the species and its behavior.

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