Animals that live in burrows are not just any animals, they are the most interesting and unique kinds of animals you will ever meet. They have a very special way of life and their existence is completely different from other animals on Earth.
Burrowing animals are found all over the world, but some species live exclusively underground. Some burrowers can even dig holes with their bodies!
This article highlights fascinating facts about different burrowing animals:
This unique mole was first mentioned by Aristotle around 350 BC. These small creatures make tunnels up to 2 meters long using only their teeth and claws. They also use these tunnels for shelter.
The woodland moles’ diet consists mainly of worms, grubs, snails, slugs, and insects. They spend most of their time sleeping underground. Moles live anywhere between 10-and 20 years depending on factors like weather conditions and food availability.
The mole is considered an endangered species because its population has decreased dramatically within the last few decades.
Specifically, this decrease is caused by human activity where we’d destroy their habitat through construction projects such as building houses or roads. This means that if something isn’t done soon, then the woodland mole could be extinct in our lifetime.
The animals are currently protected under the European Habitats Directive and the Bern Convention.
The American beaver is the biggest rodent in North America, and it is one of the largest rodents in the world. It is a true aquatic mammal living primarily along the rivers and streams of North America.
They are known as “dragsters” because they use their tails to move around. Beavers build dams out of sticks and mud which provide them protection from predators as well as a place to raise their young.
Beavers are highly intelligent and affectionate animals. Unfortunately, they were hunted heavily until recently and many populations had been reduced drastically.
However, due to legal protection, beaver numbers are slowly increasing again.
Spiny rats are among the smallest burrowing mammals while still being able to construct large nests made of leaves and roots. Unlike other types of rats, spiny rat nests are located underground near the coast where they often protect themselves from floods, heavy rain, and strong winds.
The spiny rat needs a lot of room to run around inside its home, so scientists believe that they need several square feet of space.
Their homes are typically located in hollow trees, caves, or underneath the debris. Inside their nests, the female will deposit her eggs into chambers she constructed during hibernation.
She then seals herself off from the rest of the chamber by sticking her body down onto the eggs. Spiny rats are nocturnal and sleep during the day. When they hear danger approaching, they hide in their nests.
Badgers are members of the weasel family (Mephitidae) native to Europe and Asia. They have powerful jaws and canine-like tusks in both males and females. They are solitary but sometimes travel in pairs and can weigh over twenty pounds.
They live in underground dens called setts, which may contain as many as five individuals. A set may extend for about thirty feet and reach a depth of sixty feet, making badger dens the deepest animal den ever discovered.
Although generally shy, they become aggressive when defending their territory or protecting their cubs. They eat earthworms, beetles, crickets, millipedes, centipedes, mice, voles, rabbits, fish, birds, snakes, amphibians, and carrion. Badgers communicate with high-pitched barks and growls.
Naked Mole Rats
Naked mole rats are named after their lack of hair. They are part of the Bathyergidae family and are native to East Africa. Like all rodents, naked mole rats are born without fur and must develop their fur later in life.
Naked mole rats are very social and live in colonies. They create tunnel networks below ground and inhabit these tunnels throughout the year. These networks can include thousands of individual runs, forming a complex system of tunnels extending over great distances.
Because of this networked structure, naked mole rats are extremely resistant to fire and heat. They also have remarkable healing abilities that help them recover from injuries.
Naked mole rats are herbivores who feed on grasses, sedges, and fungi. They also consume plant sap, insects, and small vertebrates.
Rabbits are lagomorphs, meaning they belong to the order Lagomorpha. There are more than 100 different species of rabbits, most of which are found in the Americas and Australia.
Most rabbit species are preyed upon by owls, hawks, eagles, cats, foxes, dogs, and humans. However, two dozen species of rabbits are not threatened at all. Many people keep pet rabbits because they are intelligent animals that make good pets.
Domestic rabbits were domesticated from the European rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus. This is one of the oldest breeds of domestic mammals.
Wild rabbits are usually brownish, although some wild varieties are black, white, or even striped. Adult rabbits stand between 10–and 12 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 2 to 4 lbs.
Prairie dogs are rodents belonging to the Caviidae family. There are eight different species of prairie dog native to North America. All species of prairie dogs are notable for their unique type of locomotion: they walk using their tails and swim using their hind legs.
Prairie dogs are closely related to capybaras and kangaroos, but unlike those species, prairie dogs do not hop. Instead, they use their tail like an arm to balance while hopping along.
The largest known species of prairie dog was once common throughout much of the Great Plains region. It has been estimated that approximately 3 billion prairie dogs were living in North America as recently as 1890.
Today, only 800 million prairie dogs remain. Loss of habitat due to farming and ranching is believed to be responsible for the decline of the prairie dog.
There are so many animals that live in burrows, and the above list has covered only a few! Some burrow alone, while others form groups and live within communities.
What burrowing animal do you like the most?