Habitat

Tuco-tucos live in many habitats: grasslands, semi-arid lands, coastal dunes, forest meadows, and steppes, and from the sea level up to 13,120 ft (4,000 m) in the Andes. They perform almost all their activities underground, except for some foraging and, eventually, young dispersal.

Tuco-tucos dig tunnel systems that are exclusive for each individual (solitary) or for multiple animals (social). Their burrows are at depths varying 11.8-118 in (30-300 cm), built as central tunnels with branching secondary tunnels, and have

The Talas tuco-tuco (Ctenomys talarum) molds the walls of its tunnels by urinating on the soil and then packing it into place. (Photo by Aníbal Parera. Reproduced by permission.)

multiple holes communicating with the surface usually closed with soil plugs that can be open or closed at will. The tunnel system then acts not only as an anti-predator defensive device, but also allows the animal to maintain a humidity level always near 100% and an almost stable temperature level through the year.

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