"Fossorial" amusingly has nothing to
do with fossils, but rather is the technical
term generally applied to vertebrates that
burrow (Although sometimes it is also applied
to burrowing invertebrates) . It derives from the
Latin fossor or one who digs. It most commonly
applies to vertebrates because the implication is
that the organism in question digs with its
limbs. So, think rabbits, badgers, or to the
annoyance of gardeners in California, ground
squirrels and gophers. Generally, the assumption
is that a fossorial animal spends some time above
ground during the day and thus is not truly
"subterranean", that is, living fully underground.
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