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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Schrade Old Timer Muskrat Folding Blade Pocket Knife, 77OtwSchrade Old Timer Muskrat Folding Blade Pocket Knife, 77Otw $17.05 Real Xl Muskrat Skull Animal Unique Christmas Gift Junk Art Western trade showReal Xl Muskrat Skull Animal Unique Christmas Gift Junk Art Western trade show $10.00
Vintage Genuine Dark Brown Eastern Muskrat Fur Women's Hand Warmer Muff (1) (24)Vintage Genuine Dark Brown Eastern Muskrat Fur Women's Hand Warmer Muff (1) (24) $59.99 Case Xx Usa Muskrat Knife in Tin - 1998 Case Collectors Club Life MemberCase Xx Usa Muskrat Knife in Tin - 1998 Case Collectors Club Life Member $98.95 Was:  Previous Price $109.95
Muskratin' with Alan Probst Muskrat Trapping (Dvd)Muskratin' with Alan Probst Muskrat Trapping (Dvd) $19.95 Taxidermy Skull Muskrat very clean nice 2 1/2+ inches great teethTaxidermy Skull Muskrat very clean nice 2 1/2+ inches great teeth $15.00
Case Xx * Sfo 2018 Gold Curly Wood Muskrat Knife Knives New ItemCase Xx * Sfo 2018 Gold Curly Wood Muskrat Knife Knives New Item $68.50 Muskrat Meadows Metro Vancouver Regional Parks badge/patchMuskrat Meadows Metro Vancouver Regional Parks badge/patch $0.79
Beaver pelt Fleshed Dried Taxidermy Pelts Hides Furs Crafts Otter Muskrat skinBeaver pelt Fleshed Dried Taxidermy Pelts Hides Furs Crafts Otter Muskrat skin $59.99 Schrade Folding Pocket Knife New Old Timer Muskrat 77OtSchrade Folding Pocket Knife New Old Timer Muskrat 77Ot $19.60 Was:  Previous Price $21.78
The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat (ExLib) by Thornton W. BurgessThe Adventures of Jerry Muskrat (ExLib) by Thornton W. Burgess $3.99 Vintage Muskrat Fur Jacket Size MVintage Muskrat Fur Jacket Size M $140.00
Muskrat Standing Taxidermy MountMuskrat Standing Taxidermy Mount $110.00 12 Nos Muskrat Stretcher Fur Trapping Tanning Quick Dry Fur Drying Frames12 Nos Muskrat Stretcher Fur Trapping Tanning Quick Dry Fur Drying Frames $0.99
Case Xx Muskrat 1Dot 1989 Bone HandleCase Xx Muskrat 1Dot 1989 Bone Handle $59.99 ( Qty 6 ) Belisle #110 Super X Body Grip Trap Mink Muskrat Weasel( Qty 6 ) Belisle #110 Super X Body Grip Trap Mink Muskrat Weasel $66.24
New Moomin Valley Glass Dish Plate Moomin Muskrat from JapanNew Moomin Valley Glass Dish Plate Moomin Muskrat from Japan $36.45 Case Cutlery Folding Pocket Knife New Muskrat Man In Black 9200MbCase Cutlery Folding Pocket Knife New Muskrat Man In Black 9200Mb $57.42 Was:  Previous Price $63.80
2 Patches - Natural Muskrat Fur Patch Light Fur Fly tying furs muskrat Fur2 Patches - Natural Muskrat Fur Patch Light Fur Fly tying furs muskrat Fur $4.99 Cumberland House Sask First Flight Sep 8 1937 Muskrat Cachet On Cover To The PasCumberland House Sask First Flight Sep 8 1937 Muskrat Cachet On Cover To The Pas $3.00
4 Hour Watercourse by Alan Probst Beaver, Raccoon, Mink, & Muskrat (Dvd)4 Hour Watercourse by Alan Probst Beaver, Raccoon, Mink, & Muskrat (Dvd) $39.95 Audiophile Records Aps-5956 Black Stereo "Muskrat Ramble" E. D. Nunn Nm #2Audiophile Records Aps-5956 Black Stereo "Muskrat Ramble" E. D. Nunn Nm #2 $16.97
Case Cutlery Folding Pocket Knife New Muskrat Black Lava 9200BklCase Cutlery Folding Pocket Knife New Muskrat Black Lava 9200Bkl $55.70 Was:  Previous Price $61.89 Rough Rider "Armor Hide" Muskrat Style Knife with Bone Handles Rr1157Rough Rider "Armor Hide" Muskrat Style Knife with Bone Handles Rr1157 $11.99
Rough Rider - Pocket Knife - Strawberry Bone Muskrat - Rr1506Rough Rider - Pocket Knife - Strawberry Bone Muskrat - Rr1506 $8.89 Cole Haan Wool & Cashmere Long Coat sz 8 Brown w/ real fur collar ret $698Cole Haan Wool & Cashmere Long Coat sz 8 Brown w/ real fur collar ret $698 $149.99
New 100% Michigan winter Muskrat Fur Ear Muffs New 100% Michigan winter Muskrat Fur Ear Muffs  $12.00 A Lot Of 2 Schrade Uncle Henry Muskrat Knives W6 C111A Lot Of 2 Schrade Uncle Henry Muskrat Knives W6 C111 $18.99
Case Cutlery Folding Pocket Knife New Muskrat Ca056Case Cutlery Folding Pocket Knife New Muskrat Ca056 $39.37 Was:  Previous Price $43.74 !Excellent Green Cloth & Sheared Muskrat Fur Coat Jacket Women Woman Sz18-20 3Xl!Excellent Green Cloth & Sheared Muskrat Fur Coat Jacket Women Woman Sz18-20 3Xl $647.35
( Qty 6 ) Belisle #120 Super X body grip trap mink muskrat weasel squirrel( Qty 6 ) Belisle #120 Super X body grip trap mink muskrat weasel squirrel $87.15 Rubber Hip Boots, Waders, Hunting Trapping Traps ducks, muskrat, raccoonRubber Hip Boots, Waders, Hunting Trapping Traps ducks, muskrat, raccoon $57.95
Case Xx Limited Edition Xxvii Watermelon Bone Muskrat One Of 3000 New - 11607Case Xx Limited Edition Xxvii Watermelon Bone Muskrat One Of 3000 New - 11607 $58.50 Schrade Knives Uncle Henry Pro Skinner Muskrat Folding Knife 877UhSchrade Knives Uncle Henry Pro Skinner Muskrat Folding Knife 877Uh $21.49
Case Xx * Sfo 2018 Smooth Gray Bone Muskrat Knife Knives New ItemCase Xx * Sfo 2018 Smooth Gray Bone Muskrat Knife Knives New Item $62.50 Old Timer Muskrat Folding Pocket KnifeOld Timer Muskrat Folding Pocket Knife $26.61 List price:  Previous Price $29.27
Belisle #110 Super X Body Grip Trap Mink Muskrat Weasel MartenBelisle #110 Super X Body Grip Trap Mink Muskrat Weasel Marten $12.89 Hen & Rooster Germany 2 Blade Big Cigar Muskrat Red Picked Bone Knife 462-RpbHen & Rooster Germany 2 Blade Big Cigar Muskrat Red Picked Bone Knife 462-Rpb $30.50
Flemington Furs Vintage Muskrat? Coat Women'S Fab!Flemington Furs Vintage Muskrat? Coat Women'S Fab! $79.99 Case Cutlery Folding Pocket Knife New Muskrat Brown Jigged 27113Case Cutlery Folding Pocket Knife New Muskrat Brown Jigged 27113 $68.96 Was:  Previous Price $76.62
Mink and Muskrat Trapping by Stanley Hawbaker (Book)Mink and Muskrat Trapping by Stanley Hawbaker (Book) $5.27 2x Muskrat Paw Print Stickers indicates adaptability for Bumper Helmet Laptop Pc2x Muskrat Paw Print Stickers indicates adaptability for Bumper Helmet Laptop Pc 00006000 $4.00
I want you all to Myself Bob Claire/Muskrat Ramble The Dixie Land 5 78 rpmI want you all to Myself Bob Claire/Muskrat Ramble The Dixie Land 5 78 rpm $8.50 Rare Vintage Case Xx 2Nd Cut Stag Trapper Knife 6254 1965-69 "Muskrat Blade" UsaRare Vintage Case Xx 2Nd Cut Stag Trapper Knife 6254 1965-69 "Muskrat Blade" Usa $1,195.00
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Prices current as of last update, 02/21/18 6:40pm.

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