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Unlike any other

Curled up skeleton of two Diictodon. It is unknown if this specimen was found in a burrow. In many other cases, burrows havebeen overlooked. Source: Smith 1987. Used with permission.

Modern examples


Fossil examples


Identifying the animal


Surface marking


Identifying the use

Identifying other inhabitants


The infill of a burrow, like any sediment, can contain fossils. However, finding fossils in a burrow makes possible such inferences that are usually not considered when fossil remains are described out of context. Many fossils discovered in paleosoils were probably found in burrows, but these unfortunately have often not been recognized. Retallack (1991) mentions a completely articulated mongoose skeleton that was found in the Miocene paleosols of eastern Africa, and suggests that it was preserved in a burrow. It is probable, since mongooses are known to burrow. In the case of animals without modern analogues, confirming that a fossil was found in a burrow would provide the information about their ecology that is usually unavailable from the study of morphology.

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