Muskrat range (native range in red, introduced range in green)Muskrat lodge, middle Patuxent River marsh, Maryland
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Muskrat

The Muskrat or Musquash (Ondatra zibethicus), the only species in genus Ondatra, is a large aquatic rodent native to North America, and introduced in parts of Europe. more...

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Adult body length is usually between 25-40 cm long, with a strong, laterally compressed tail 20-25 cm long. The body is covered in thick, brown waterproof fur; the underparts are paler. They have partially webbed hind feet and small able hand-like front feet. The weight is up to 1700 g, about four times the weight of a Brown Rat.

Swamp Bunny is a nickname for a Muskrat. It is commonly used in the Mid-Atlantic States, especially in the marsh-lands and rivers surrounding the Chesapeake Bay.

Natural habitat

They live in wetlands: ponds, lakes, marshes and river banks, hence the nickname "swamp bunny". The are very good swimmers, using their tail for propulsion in the water. They are found in Alaska, Canada, the United States and northern Mexico. Extensive burrow systems are dug in the ground adjacent to the water with an underwater entrance. In marshes, lodges are constructed from cattails and mud. They also build feeding platforms in wetlands. Muskrats help maintain open areas in marshes, which helps to provide habitat for aquatic birds.

These animals are most active at night or near dawn and dusk. They feed on cattails and other aquatic vegetation, freshwater mussels, frogs, crayfish and small turtles. Their predators include mink, foxes, coyotes, wolves, lynx and large owls. They are also trapped for their fur and, in some communities, for their meat. Trapping for their fur is largely limited to the northern US states, as the most common means of trapping is by placing a trap inside their frozen hut reached via an ice covered body of water.

The male muskrat marks his territory with a strong musky secretion which gives this animal its name. Females have 2 to 3 litters of 6 to 8 young. Muskrat populations appear to go through a regular pattern of rise and dramatic decline spread over a 6 to 10 year period.

While much wetland habitat has been eliminated due to human activity, new muskrat habitat has been created by the construction of canals or irrigation channels and the muskrat remains common and wide-spread.

Muskrat as an exogenous species in Europe

At the beginning of the 20th century (around 1905), the muskrat was introduced in the European wildlife by fur traders who thought to make a profit with the animals. Some animals escaped, other were set loose after it turned out that the business wasn't profitable. Due to their rapid breeding and lack of predators, the species quickly spread out over continental Europe, from the North Sea to the Black Sea and beyond.

Adaptations

Muskrats have two very unique adaptations that help with survival. The first is the shape of their nostrils. They look like the number sevens. The shape of the nostrils allows muskrats to inhale remaining oxygen from recently exhaled breath. This allows for muskrats to swim under water for up to 15 minutes. The other adaptation has to do with how the muskrat got its name. Muskrats are named because of the musk glands located near the underside of their tail. These secretions are used to warn other muskrats to leave this muskrat's territory alone. This keeps other muskrats away which in return cuts down on competition for food and mates. This aids in the muskrat's survival.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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Muskrat Will Be Swimming - Paperback By Savageau, Cheryl - GoodMuskrat Will Be Swimming - Paperback By Savageau, Cheryl - Good $4.51 Perfect Tiny Muskrat Jaw Fl Fossil Mammal Jaw Teeth Tooth In Riker Case OndatraPerfect Tiny Muskrat Jaw Fl Fossil Mammal Jaw Teeth Tooth In Riker Case Ondatra $25.00
32" Humane Live Animal Trap Steel Catch Release Rodent Cage for Rabbits Raccoon32" Humane Live Animal Trap Steel Catch Release Rodent Cage for Rabbits Raccoon $32.58 Muskrat for Supper: Exploring the Natural World with the Last River RatMuskrat for Supper: Exploring the Natural World with the Last River Rat $6.14
Live Animal Trap 32"X12.5"X12" Steel Cage Humane Rodent Cage for Rabbits RaccoonLive Animal Trap 32"X12.5"X12" Steel Cage Humane Rodent Cage for Rabbits Raccoon $32.58 Muskrat jawbone fossil, Found on local shark tooth hunt.Muskrat jawbone fossil, Found on local shark tooth hunt. $50.00
Muskrat Will Be SwimmingMuskrat Will Be Swimming $7.55 Muskrat and Skunk Sinkpe Na Maka: A Lakota Drum Story (Dakota and Engli - GoodMuskrat and Skunk Sinkpe Na Maka: A Lakota Drum Story (Dakota and Engli - Good $8.08
1810 John Wilkes Antique Print of Mammals - Beavers, Muskrats, Mice, Hamsters.1810 John Wilkes Antique Print of Mammals - Beavers, Muskrats, Mice, Hamsters. $42.25 Humane Small Live Animal Trap Control Steel Cage 32"x12.5"x12" Raccoon Skunk CatHumane Small Live Animal Trap Control Steel Cage 32"x12.5"x12" Raccoon Skunk Cat $32.58
Muskrat Will Be Swimming Good Book 0 paperbackMuskrat Will Be Swimming Good Book 0 paperback $4.74 Muskrats [Pond Animals]Muskrats [Pond Animals] $6.12
Canada 1155-61 Mnh Mammals, Red Fox, Beaver, Skunk, Muskrat, Hare, SquirrelCanada 1155-61 Mnh Mammals, Red Fox, Beaver, Skunk, Muskrat, Hare, Squirrel $1.95 Canada 1988 Canadian Mammal Muskrat Mint Fv Face 12 Cent Corner Stamp Set BlockCanada 1988 Canadian Mammal Muskrat Mint Fv Face 12 Cent Corner Stamp Set Block $1.25
Canada 1155-61 Tl Plate Blocks Mnh Mammals, Red Fox, Beaver, Skunk, MuskratCanada 1155-61 Tl Plate Blocks Mnh Mammals, Red Fox, Beaver, Skunk, Muskrat $9.00 Canada 3 cent 1988 stamp # 1157 Mnh - Muskrat Mammal DefinitivesCanada 3 cent 1988 stamp # 1157 Mnh - Muskrat Mammal Definitives $0.91
Muskrat Prehistoric Incisor Tooth Fossil in Display CaseMuskrat Prehistoric Incisor Tooth Fossil in Display Case $13.99 Humane Small Live Animal Control Steel Trap Cage Raccoon Skunk Cat 32"x12.5"x12"Humane Small Live Animal Control Steel Trap Cage Raccoon Skunk Cat 32"x12.5"x12" $32.58
1792 Antique Print Quadrupeds Mammals Potto Genette- Muskrat1792 Antique Print Quadrupeds Mammals Potto Genette- Muskrat $17.99 32x12x12 Steel Cage Live Rodent Humane Animal Trap Control Skunk Rabbit Opossum32x12x12 Steel Cage Live Rodent Humane Animal Trap Control Skunk Rabbit Opossum $32.58
Humane Live Animal Control Little Steel Trap Cage 32"x12.5"x12" RaccoonHumane Live Animal Control Little Steel Trap Cage 32"x12.5"x12" Raccoon $33.29 Muskrat #102 Mammals - The Illustrated Animal Library Fold-out Page & PrintMuskrat #102 Mammals - The Illustrated Animal Library Fold-out Page & Print $7.63
Muskrat Audubon Mammal Animal Zoology Illustration Poster PrintMuskrat Audubon Mammal Animal Zoology Illustration Poster Print $30.00 to Muskrat Will Be Swimming Library Binding Cheryl SavageauMuskrat Will Be Swimming Library Binding Cheryl Savageau $8.29
Muskrat Will Be Swimming - Hardcover By Savageau, Cheryl - GoodMuskrat Will Be Swimming - Hardcover By Savageau, Cheryl - Good $6.40 Muskrat Hardcover Ellen LawrenceMuskrat Hardcover Ellen Lawrence $12.46
New ListingMuscrat Trapper’S Guide by Mitchell S. Rickets, Elk River PressNew ListingMuscrat Trapper’S Guide by Mitchell S. Rickets, Elk River Press $9.00 Beaver or Muskrat? [Spotting Differences: Blastoff! Readers]Beaver or Muskrat? [Spotting Differences: Blastoff! Readers] $5.98
Audubon 1989 Vintage "Musk Rat' Musquash" Muskrat Mammal Color Art LithographAudubon 1989 Vintage "Musk Rat' Musquash" Muskrat Mammal Color Art Lithograph $3.20 Muskrat by Lawrence, EllenMuskrat by Lawrence, Ellen $12.65
Muskrat & Skunk / Sinkpe Na Ma by Montileaux, Donald F.Muskrat & Skunk / Sinkpe Na Ma by Montileaux, Donald F. $9.71 Muskrat Safari Cards Rencontre MammalsMuskrat Safari Cards Rencontre Mammals $4.95
Bulgaria 2098-2103, Mnh. Michel 2248-2253. Animals 1973. Muskrat, Racoon, Elk.Bulgaria 2098-2103, Mnh. Michel 2248-2253. Animals 1973. Muskrat, Racoon, Elk. $7.00 8 Eight Small Mammal Fossil Teeth Rat Raccoon Muskrat Skunk Fossils Tooth Jaw Fg8 Eight Small Mammal Fossil Teeth Rat Raccoon Muskrat Skunk Fossils Tooth Jaw Fg $20.00
5 Five Small Mammal Rodent Rat Muskrat Squirrel Rabbit Incisor Fossils Teeth Jaw5 Five Small Mammal Rodent Rat Muskrat Squirrel Rabbit Incisor Fossils Teeth Jaw $20.00 Muskrat Trapper's Guide by Mitchell S. Ricketts (1988, Trade Paperback), NewMuskrat Trapper's Guide by Mitchell S. Ricketts (1988, Trade Paperback), New $14.99
Muskrat Taxidermy Mount Sku 2634Muskrat Taxidermy Mount Sku 2634 $625.00 Voal, Muskrat vintage 1970's mammals bookplate illustrated by Paul BarruelVoal, Muskrat vintage 1970's mammals bookplate illustrated by Paul Barruel $3.76
Mississippi Fossil Muskrat Jaw Pleistocene Mammoth Age Mammal BoneMississippi Fossil Muskrat Jaw Pleistocene Mammoth Age Mammal Bone $7.99 Canada Stamp #1157 Mammal Definitive - Muskrat Mnh 1988Canada Stamp #1157 Mammal Definitive - Muskrat Mnh 1988 $0.72
Animal Trap Steel Cage for Small Live Rodent Rat Squirrel Raccoon Iron 32" x 12“Animal Trap Steel Cage for Small Live Rodent Rat Squirrel Raccoon Iron 32" x 12“ $33.09 Muskrat Will Be Swimming by Savageau, CherylMuskrat Will Be Swimming by Savageau, Cheryl $8.74
Teeth of Mammals Dermal beetle Muskrat - 1836 H/C Color Natural History PrintTeeth of Mammals Dermal beetle Muskrat - 1836 H/C Color Natural History Print $10.72 Canada No 1157, Mammal Definitive: Muskrat, Mint NhCanada No 1157, Mammal Definitive: Muskrat, Mint Nh $0.72
Humane Live Animal Control Steel Trap Cage 32"x12.5"x12" Raccoon Skunk KittyHumane Live Animal Control Steel Trap Cage 32"x12.5"x12" Raccoon Skunk Kitty $32.58 Muskrat for Supper : Exploring the Natural World with the Last RiMuskrat for Supper : Exploring the Natural World with the Last Ri $6.50
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Prices current as of last update, 05/25/24 9:21am.

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