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adj. Zoology
1. Burrowing or living underground: fossorial lizards.
2. Relating to or used for burrowing or digging: fossorial habits; fossorial legs.

[From Late Latin fossōrius, from Latin fossus, past participle of fodere, to dig.]


1. (Zoology) (of the forelimbs and skeleton of burrowing animals) adapted for digging
2. (Zoology) (of burrowing animals, such as the mole and armadillo) having limbs of this type
[C19: from Medieval Latin fossōrius from Latin fossor digger, from fodere to dig]


(fɒˈsɔr i əl, -ˈsoʊr-)

burrowing or adapted for burrowing: fossorial mammals; fossorial paws.
[1830–40; < Late Latin fossōri(us) adapted to digging (Latin fod(ere) to dig + tōrius -tory1) + -al1]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.fossorial - (of limbs and feet) adapted for digging
cursorial - (of limbs and feet) adapted for running
References in classic literature ?
The same number of joints in the tarsi is a character generally common to very large groups of beetles, but in the Engidae, as Westwood has remarked, the number varies greatly; and the number likewise differs in the two sexes of the same species: again in fossorial hymenoptera, the manner of neuration of the wings is a character of the highest importance, because common to large groups; but in certain genera the neuration differs in the different species, and likewise in the two sexes of the same species.
Functional Morphology of the Olfactory Mucosa and Olfactory Bulb in Fossorial Rodents: The East African Root Rat (Tachyoryctes splendens) and the Naked Mole Rat (Heterocephalus glaber).
Because of the badger's burrowing habits and fossorial lifestyle, the selection for grassland and cropland at the home range scale may be related to the presence of soils that are suitable for burrowing such as well drained, friable, sandy-loamy soil types (e.g., Apps et al., 2002; Quinn, 2008; Duquette et al, 2014).
caprae and extensive exposure to these pathogens through direct contact, necrophagic habits, or fossorial habits (13-15).
The tympanic membrane in many fossorial (burrowing) and semi-fossorial Lizards, such as the legless Anniella, as well as in other Reptiles, such as the Tuatara, Amphisbaenians, and, of course, Snakes are absent (Tumarkin, 1968; Kaplan, 2014).
It becomes more fossorial species encountered in the field and damage groundnuts either by eating the roots, which kills the plants, or by eating the groundnuts only, by leaving behind a live but unproductive plant.
The scorpion family Bothriuridae comprises small to medium-sized fossorial species, mostly from temperate areas (Sissom 1990; Kovaffk & Ojanguren-Affilastro 2013).
In general, survival rates were much lower than those of other fossorial microtine species of Mediterranean Europe (e.g.
Morton SR, Rentz DCF (1983) Ecology and taxonomy of fossorial, granivorous gryllacridids (Orthoptera: Gryllacrididae) from arid central Australia.
arboreal, fossorial), and whether the dog teams searched for live subjects or scat.
These mammals are indeed fossorial to varying extents, and digging is mediated by a strong forearm extension (Vizcaino et al.