17 animals that live in burrows - List and pictures

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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.

Now that you know what a burrow is, we are ready to learn which animals live in them. For this reason, we invite you to continue reading this Green Ecologist article in which we will mention several animals that live in burrows.


We will start by mentioning the moles (family Talpidae) 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 mole burrow consists of deep tunnels that usually end in cameras that they use as a nest. It is worth mentioning that the anatomy of moles is adapted to life underground, therefore their eyes are rudimentary and they have a great sense of touch.

European rabbit

On the other hand, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) 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. Particularly the rabbit hole It can be classified as simple when you build gazaperas (which is a gallery and a chamber) or with a higher level of complexity, when you build living complexes (that is, a set of galleries and chambers).

Here you can learn about the Difference between hare and rabbit.


Within the burrowing animals, there is the marmot (Marmot marmota), a large rodent whose original range spans the western Alps. This species is characterized by having a social and diurnal behavior, although it passes the most of his 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.

You can find out which animals hibernate and why in this other post.

Eurasian badger

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

Common fox

The common fox, scientifically known as Vulpes vulpes, it 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. Particularly the fox burrowsThey are in constant modification and improvement since they usually use the same burrow for years.

Barn owl

This particular bird, whose scientific name is Athene cunicularia, It has an extensive distribution throughout the Americas, 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 Pequen, 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.

Know the Differences between owl and owl in this link.

Mouthless crab

The crab without a mouth o blue crabCardisoma crassum), 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 particularities they have, the burrows have been studied to understand the characteristics of the species and its behavior.

Devil fish

The devil fishHypostomus plecostomus), is an endemic fish from Latin America that is distributed from Costa Rica to Argentina. Like the other animals described so far, it builds burrows to breed or nest. The burrows are usually at banks of rivers or lakes that inhabits. This particular species has been introduced in Mexico and Nicaragua causing several impacts, among them, the burrows they build promote instability and erosion of the banks of the area.

Other animals that live in burrows

Next, we will name other animals that live in burrows:

  • MeerkatMeerkat suricatta)
  • BeaverCastor canadensis)
  • Tuco tuco (Ctenomys spp.)
  • Kangaroo ratsDipodomys spp.)
  • Trapper spidersCtenizidae spp.)
  • Underground termite (Reticulitermes flavipes)
  • Red worm (Eisenia fetida)
  • Fine clam (Ruditapes decussatus)
  • Gopher (Geomyidae spp.)

Here you can see images of these animals in the same order as the list.

If you want to read more articles similar to Animals that live in burrows, we recommend that you enter our category of Animal Curiosities.

  • Alemán, S., Cisneros, P., Ordinola, E., Vera, M., & Montero, P. Some biological-population characteristics of the mouthless crab Cardisoma crassum (Crustacea: Gecarcinidae) in the mangroves of Tumbes, Peru.
  • Calder, J., & Briones-Salas, M. Moles and shrews: mysterious and little-known animals.
  • Herrero Cortés, J., & García-González, R. (2007). Marmot marmota.
  • López-Martín, J. M., & Salvador Milla, A. (2022). Fox, Vulpes vulpes Linnaeus, 1758.
  • Mata, M., Guil, F., Sánchez, J. F., & Moreno-Opo, R. Dynamics of wild rabbit burrows (Oryctolagus cuniculus l.) in the mountains of Toledo.
  • Pairo, P. E., Leveau, L. M., & Bellocq, M. I. (2022). Selection of the nesting habitat for the Barn Owl (Athene cunicularia) in agroecosystems of the Pampa Ondulada. Southern ecology, 27(3), 375-384.
  • Salgado, I. (2014). European badger, Meles meles (Linnaeus, 1758).
  • Tisseaux Navarro, A. (2022). Biological aspects of an introduced species of devil fish Hypostomus spp. (Loricaiidae), in the southeast of Lake Nicaragua.
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