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Citation. Reichman, O. J.; Smith, S. C. 1990. Burrows and burrowing behavior by mammals. Pages 197-244 in Genoways, H. H., editor, Current Mammalogy. Plenum Press, New York and London.   [1473  CC]

Introduction. Most mammals use shelter of some sort either daily or seasonally. For some species the shelters are simple, consisting of the shade of a tree or the lee of a rock. Many other species, however, construct or expropriate elaborate dens, nests, or burrows which provide many benefits to the resident. Costs are also incurred when constructing or obtaining burrows, and these must be offset to make the acquisition advantageous. In this chapter we will concentrate on the characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of burrows and discuss some of the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral traits associated with all degrees of fossorial behavior, from species which use very simple burrows to those taxa which are primarily subterranean (we will use the term fossorial for burrowing mammals and subterranean for those taxa that spend almost all of their lives below ground).

Keywords. burrows, burrowing, subterranean, fossorial

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