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
"The badger digging up holes in the backyard is a fossorial animal."
"The fossorial limbs of a mole make them excellent at digging the burrows that they live in. "
Popularity Over Time
Fossorial and "excavate" both mean to remove something, usually earth.
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 animals, such as mole rats, bilbies, and earthworms, create complicated underground networks of burrows and spend most of their time underground. Fossorial animals, like groundhogs or chipmunks, create simple burrows and spend a lot of time above ground.