It is of nocturnal and burrowing habits, and feeds on decomposed animal substances, larvae and termites.
Among the burrowing and tubicolous forms it is not uncommon for the body to be distinguishable into two or more regions; a "thorax," for example, is sharply marked off from an "abdomen" in the Sabellids.
The head is very small and not distinct from the neck, a usual feature in burrowing snakes and lizards.
The majority are distinguished from snakes by the possession of two pairs of limbs, of external ear-openings and movable eyelids, but since in not a few of the burrowing, snake-shaped lizards these characters give way entirely, it is well-nigh impossible to find a diagnosis which should be absolutely sufficient for the distinction between lizards and snakes.
"That's what deputies and under-sheriffs are for," he answered with a grimace and then pictured sending snippy Miss Larkin burrowing underground like a weasel and rolling a stone against the entrance.
The larvae are stout and soft-skinned, with short legs in correlation with their burrowing habit.
In the fore feet the web not only fills the interspaces between the toes, but extends considerably beyond the ends of the long, broad and somewhat flattened nails, giving great expanse to the foot when used for swimming, though capable of being folded back on the palm when the animal is burrowing or walking on the land.
Gunther characterizes the chief categories as follows: - (I) Burrowing snakes, which live under ground and but rarely appear on the surface.
43) are well adapted for their burrowing habits under the bark of trees.
About 100 species of these rather archaic snakes are known; in adaptation to their burrowing life and worm and insect diet, they have undergone degradation.
- Burrowing like the Typhlopidae, which they much resemble externally, but the maxillaries retain their normal position and are toothless, teeth being restricted to the lower jaw, which is short, stout, and not distensible.
They seemed to me to be rudimental, burrowing men, still standing on their defence, awaiting their transformation.
Those of any other burrowing mammal, the retina being reduced to a mass of simple cells, and the cornea and sclerotic ("white") to a pearshaped fibrous capsule enclosing a ball of pigment.
On the other hand, the considerably smaller Nototherium, characterized by its sharp and broad skull and smaller incisors, seems to have been much more wombat-like, and may perhaps have possessed similar burrowing habits.
Meerkats are sociable animals, living in holes in the rocks on the mountains, and burrowing in the sandy soil of the plains.
- Elongated burrowing forms; foot cylindrical, powerful, without byssus; shell long, truncated and gaping at each end.
They are burrowing, and, in some cases at any rate, partially aquatic rodents.
A second group is formed by the few American Xantusiidae, the numerous American Tejidae, and the burrowing, degraded American and African Amphisbaenidae.
According to the very varied habits, their external appearance varies within wide limits, there being amongst the 300 species, with 50 genera, arboreal, terrestrial, burrowing and semi-aquatic forms, and even one semi-marine kind.
These pink, worm-like creatures live in sandy, moist localities, burrowing little tunnels and never appearing on the surface.
The chief points in which they vary are - (1) in the structure of the ctenidia or branchial plates; (2) in the presence of one or of two chief muscles, the fibres of which run across the animal's body from one valve of the shell to the other (adductors); (3) in the greater or less elaboration of the posterior portion of the mantle-skirt so as to form a pair of tubes, by one of which water is introduced into the sub-pallial chamber, whilst by the other it is expelled; (4) in the perfect or deficient symmetry of the two valves of the shell and the connected soft parts, as compared with one another; (5) in the development of the foot as a disk-like crawling organ (Arca, Nucula, Pectunculus, Trigonia, Lepton, Galeomma), as a simple plough-like or tongueshaped organ (Unionidae, &c.), as a re-curved saltatory organ (Cardium, &c.), as a long burrowing cylinder (Solenidae, &c.), or its partial (Mytilacea) or even complete abortion (Ostraeacea).
- Ordinary conidia and similarly abstricted dry spores are so minute, light and numerous that their dispersal is ensured by any current of air or water, and we also know that rats and other burrowing animals often carry them on their fur; similarly with birds, insects, slugs, worms, &c., on claws, feathers, proboscides, &c., or merely adherent to the slimy body.
These animals are of nocturnal and burrowing habits, and generally to be found near ant-hills.
It frequents rivers and streams, burrowing in the banks, and often causing considerable damage.
With regard to its habits, all that need be said here is that while Amphioxus is an expert swimmer when occasion requires, yet it spends most of its time burrowing in the sand, in which, when at rest, it lies buried with head protruding and mouth wide agape.
The fauna of the Tibetan Himalaya is essentially European or rather that of the northern half of the old continent, which region has by zoologists been termed Palaearctic. Among the characteristic animals may be named the yak, from which is reared a cross breed with the ordinary horned cattle of India, many wild sheep, and two antelopes, as well as the musk-deer; several hares and some burrowing animals, including pikas (Lagomys) and two or three species of marmot; certain arctic forms of carnivora - fox, wolf, lynx, ounce, marten and ermine; also wild asses.
Characteristic forms of the Upper Sonoran zone are the burrowing owl, Nevada sage-thrush, sagethrasher and special species of orioles, kangaroo rats, mice, rabbits and squirrels.
My instinct tells me that my head is an organ for burrowing, as some creatures use their snout and fore paws, and with it I would mine and burrow my way through these hills.
The timid viscacha (Lagostomus trichodactylus), living in colonies, often with the burrowing owl, and digging deep under ground like the American prairie dog, was almost the only quadruped to be seen upon these immense open plains.
A separate family, Notoryctidae, is represented by the marsupial mole (Notoryctes typhlops), of the deserts of south Central Australia, a silky, golden-haired, burrowing creature, with a curious leathery muzzle, and a short, naked stumpy tail.
There is no doubt that the primary influence that has guided the evolution of the architecture of the burrowing spiders has been that great necessity for the preservation of life, avoidance of enemies and protection from adverse physical conditions like rain, cold or drought.
MOLE-RAT, the name of a group of blind burrowing rodents, typified by the large grey Spalax typhlus of eastern Europe and Egypt, which represents the Old World family Spalacidae.
This is a small burrowing animal, of a pale golden-yellow colour, with long silky hair, a horny shield on the nose, and a stumpy leathery tail.
This animal spends most of its time burrowing in the sand in search of insects and their larvae, but occasionally makes its appearance on the surface.
At a later period the fall of angular fragments at the entrance finally closed the cave, and it ceased to be accessible except to a few burrowing animals, whose remains are found above the second and newer stalagmite floor.
The fifth pair of prosomatic appendages is used by these scorpions when burrowing, to kick back the sand as the burrow is excavated by the great chelae.
Brazil has three groups of animals similar to the common rat - the Capromydae, Loncheridae and Psammoryctidae- the best known of which is the " tuco-tuco " (Ctenomys brasiliensis), a small burrowing animal of Rio Grande do Sul which excavates long subterranean galleries and lives on roots and bulbs.
Likewise primitive, but in various respects degraded, mainly owing to burrowing habits, are the Typhlopidae with the Ilysiidae, and Uropeltidae as a terminal branch, and on the other hand the Glauconiidae.
- Burrowing snakes of Ceylon and southern India, with a very short tail, which ends in a peculiar, often obliquely truncated, shield, hence the name.
Calamaria of Indo-China is an example of burrowing snakes, with a short tail and small eyes; in Typhlopophis of the Philippines the eyes are concealed.
Good descriptions and figures of all these snakes are given in Krefft's Snakes of Australia (Sydney, 1869, t 40 Several genera of the Elapinae lead a more or less burrowing life; their body is of a uniform cylindrical shape, terminating in a short tail, and covered with short polished scales; their head is short, the mouth rather narrow, and the eye small.
Bees can excavate timber and make their brood-chambers in hollow plant-stems.
VISCACHA, or BISCACHA, a large South American burrowing rodent mammal belonging to the family Chinchillidae and commonly known as Lagostomus trichodactylus, although some writers prefer the name Viscacia.
By various modifications of their valves and appendages the creatures have become adapted for swimming, creeping, burrowing, or climbing, some of them combining two or more of these activities, for which their structure seems at the first glance little adapted.
The Spalacidae are burrowing types, allied apparently to the ancestral Jaculidae, and characterized by the second and third molars being equal in size, the presence of enamel-folds in all these teeth, and the superiority in size of the claws of the second, third and fourth front toes over the other two.
All the Bathyergidae are African, and adapted to a burrowing life, having minute ears and eyes, a short tail and the thumb armed with a large claw.
The majority of these rodents, many of which are of large size, are terrestrial, but a few are burrowing, others arboreal and two or three aquatic.
The more typical members of the family are rat-like burrowing rodents, living in communities.
Among these, the tuco-tucos (Ctenomys) are characterized by their burrowing habits, almost rudimentary ears, small eyes, short tails and the kidneyshaped grinding-surfaces of their cheek-teeth.
All are terrestrial, and in many cases burrowing, in their habits, and some of them are of extreme fleetness.
Various hawks and owls are common; the golden eagle nests on the mountain crags and the burrowing owl on the plains.
A very curious function sometimes discharged by the antennules or antennae of Decapods is that of forming a respiratory siphon in sand-burrowing species.
The Vertebrata come within the scope of our subject, chiefly as destructive agents which cause wounds or devour young shoots and foliage, &c. Rabbits and other burrowing animals injure roots, squirrels and birds snip off buds, horned cattle strip off bark, and so forth.
They feed by burrowing in the roots and stems of plants.
- Burrowing snakes, mostly small, which have the body covered with smooth, shiny, uniform cycloid scales The teeth are restricted to the small maxillary bones.
They include terrestrial, semi-aquatic and burrowing types; none of them with any signs of degradation; on the contrary they belong to the most highly organized of snakes.
In those containing water in the rainy season only, the fish preserve life when the bed is dry by burrowing deeply in the ooze before it hardens.
MARMOT, the vernacular name of a large, thickly built, burrowing Alpine rodent mammal, allied to the squirrels, and typifying the genus Arctomys, of which there are numerous species ranging from the Alps through Asia north of (but including the inner ranges of) the Himalaya, and recurring in North America.