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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1988 Gi Joe Vintage Arah Muskrat Swamp Skimmer Part Accessory1988 Gi Joe Vintage Arah Muskrat Swamp Skimmer Part Accessory $2.99 Case Xx Usa Three Dot Two Color Bone Muskrat KnifeCase Xx Usa Three Dot Two Color Bone Muskrat Knife $275.00
Case Xx Engraved Bolster Series Genuine Rainbow Corelon Muskrat Pocket KnivesCase Xx Engraved Bolster Series Genuine Rainbow Corelon Muskrat Pocket Knives $74.95 List price: Previous Price $109.45 1981 Case Xx R Muskrat Red Bone Serrated Blade Folding Pocket Knife1981 Case Xx R Muskrat Red Bone Serrated Blade Folding Pocket Knife $125.00
Vintage Real Muskrat Fur Coat / Jacket Custom Made Estimated Size SVintage Real Muskrat Fur Coat / Jacket Custom Made Estimated Size S $89.99 Papa John Gordy On Rca Records Muskrat Ramble / Fortune In Dreams W/ Peper SleevPapa John Gordy On Rca Records Muskrat Ramble / Fortune In Dreams W/ Peper Sleev $4.72 Was: Previous Price $5.55
Camillus Yellow jacket 2 blade muskrat W/ Custom wood Yello-Jacket caseCamillus Yellow jacket 2 blade muskrat W/ Custom wood Yello-Jacket case $15.00 Real Muskrat Fur Long Coat Real Raccoon Fur Collar Estimated Size SmallReal Muskrat Fur Long Coat Real Raccoon Fur Collar Estimated Size Small $99.99
Case Xx Knives Navy Series Tan G-10 Muskrat Knife #15015 Free T-ShirtCase Xx Knives Navy Series Tan G-10 Muskrat Knife #15015 Free T-Shirt $64.98 Case Tested Xx 1920/1940 MuskratCase Tested Xx 1920/1940 Muskrat $23.01
Vintage Schrade Walden Ny Usa 141 2 Blade Improved Muskrat PocketknifeVintage Schrade Walden Ny Usa 141 2 Blade Improved Muskrat Pocketknife $34.99 1932 Fern Bisel Peat Print - Muskrat Named Musquash - Vintage Book Illustration1932 Fern Bisel Peat Print - Muskrat Named Musquash - Vintage Book Illustration $8.00
Muskrat Fur 7/8 Coat - Size M/L - Pre-OwnedMuskrat Fur 7/8 Coat - Size M/L - Pre-Owned $250.00 1 New Duke 110 body grip traps/muskrat/rabbit/mink trapping new sale1 New Duke 110 body grip traps/muskrat/rabbit/mink trapping new sale $11.15
1994 Polly Pocket Horse House 3 Figures Kayla Coyote Blaze Bronco Merry Muskrat1994 Polly Pocket Horse House 3 Figures Kayla Coyote Blaze Bronco Merry Muskrat $9.99 Usa Old Timer Schrade 770T Improved Muskrat pocket knifeUsa Old Timer Schrade 770T Improved Muskrat pocket knife $40.00
1944 *Rare* Tips to Trappers by Johnny Muskrat by Sears Roebuck & Co. Hawbakers1944 *Rare* Tips to Trappers by Johnny Muskrat by Sears Roebuck & Co. Hawbakers $29.95 Used - Case Muskrat with Stag HandlesUsed - Case Muskrat with Stag Handles $45.99
Gi Joe G.I. Joe Muskrat First Version 1987 Mint on Card!Gi Joe G.I. Joe Muskrat First Version 1987 Mint on Card! $249.00 Case Cutlery 9200Bkl Black Lava Muskrat Corelon Pocket Knife with Stainless SteeCase Cutlery 9200Bkl Black Lava Muskrat Corelon Pocket Knife with Stainless Stee $69.25
Muskrat with Fox Fur Coat - Size S - Pre-OwnedMuskrat with Fox Fur Coat - Size S - Pre-Owned $300.00 Rare 1 Of 20 Schatt & Morgan By Queen Green Bone Yankee Muskrat Knife Nice (2205Rare 1 Of 20 Schatt & Morgan By Queen Green Bone Yankee Muskrat Knife Nice (2205 $124.00 Was: Previous Price $155.00
Beautiful 23 inches vintage real Muskrat Brown Beige fur hat men H-15Beautiful 23 inches vintage real Muskrat Brown Beige fur hat men H-15 $6.37 Pee Wee Hunt - 78rpm single 10-inch – Regent #133 Muskrat RamblePee Wee Hunt - 78rpm single 10-inch – Regent #133 Muskrat Ramble $19.99
Beautiful 21 inches vintage real Muskrat fur hat men ?-27Beautiful 21 inches vintage real Muskrat fur hat men ?-27 $6.37 Pete Rickard - New 2 Oz. Muskrat Food Trapping Lure - Lc332Pete Rickard - New 2 Oz. Muskrat Food Trapping Lure - Lc332 $9.50
Antique Vintage traps for small game,Rabbit,squirrel, Muskrat etc.TrapsAntique Vintage traps for small game,Rabbit,squirrel, Muskrat etc.Traps $18.00 Vintage Awesome 6” Folk Art Musky/Pike Muskrat Fishing Lure Lot 3-132Vintage Awesome 6” Folk Art Musky/Pike Muskrat Fishing Lure Lot 3-132 $39.10 Was: Previous Price $46.00
45 ! The Matys Brothers On 20Th Century Records Muskrat Ramble / Moment Of A Lif45 ! The Matys Brothers On 20Th Century Records Muskrat Ramble / Moment Of A Lif $7.01 Was: Previous Price $8.25 Cd Golden Hits Of Everly Brothers Cathy'S Clown Muskrat Ebony Eyes Lucille EtcCd Golden Hits Of Everly Brothers Cathy'S Clown Muskrat Ebony Eyes Lucille Etc $5.31
Frost Cutlery Green Jigged Bone Muskrat Pocket Knife 3 7/8" F14161GjbFrost Cutlery Green Jigged Bone Muskrat Pocket Knife 3 7/8" F14161Gjb $14.00 Lovely Paris style beret 23 inches vintage real Muskrat fur hat women women ?26Lovely Paris style beret 23 inches vintage real Muskrat fur hat women women ?26 $6.37
Beautiful 22.5 inches vintage real flip flap Muskrat fur hat men H-12Beautiful 22.5 inches vintage real flip flap Muskrat fur hat men H-12 $6.37 Renfrew Real Muskrat Fur Long Coat With Opossum Fur Trim Estimated Size Small MRenfrew Real Muskrat Fur Long Coat With Opossum Fur Trim Estimated Size Small M $99.99
Great thick 21 inches vintage real Muskrat fur hat men women H-11Great thick 21 inches vintage real Muskrat fur hat men women H-11 $6.37 Case Xx 6 Dot Usa 1984-New Grind Blades-Muskrat-Black Bovine BoneCase Xx 6 Dot Usa 1984-New Grind Blades-Muskrat-Black Bovine Bone $125.00
Vintage 50's Fur Stole / Cape MuskratVintage 50's Fur Stole / Cape Muskrat $51.28 Vintage Case Xx 1970 10 dot Red Bone Muskrat Knife #999Vintage Case Xx 1970 10 dot Red Bone Muskrat Knife #999 $450.00
Beautiful Vintage Muskrat Stole 1940/50Beautiful Vintage Muskrat Stole 1940/50 $85.00 1/2 Dozen (6 Pak) Duke #1 Single long Spring Trap fpr Mink and Muskrat1/2 Dozen (6 Pak) Duke #1 Single long Spring Trap fpr Mink and Muskrat $36.49
Schrade Walden Muskrat Taylor Brand Very nice. No ReserveSchrade Walden Muskrat Taylor Brand Very nice. No Reserve $0.99 New Schrade Knives Old Timer Muskrat Folding Knife 77OtNew Schrade Knives Old Timer Muskrat Folding Knife 77Ot $18.99
10, Tanned Weasel Pelts, winter white, Long Tailed Ermine, fur, code wea9-610, Tanned Weasel Pelts, winter white, Long Tailed Ermine, fur, code wea9-6 $129.95 1 oz. Milligan's Glades Muskrat Lure traps trapping1 oz. Milligan's Glades Muskrat Lure traps trapping $6.00
Vtg/Antique Muskrat Fur Muff Handwarmer Purse Wristlet w Attached Coin Purse ExcVtg/Antique Muskrat Fur Muff Handwarmer Purse Wristlet w Attached Coin Purse Exc $15.50 Was: Previous Price $31.00 Muskrat Fur Hide Stretcher StretchersMuskrat Fur Hide Stretcher Stretchers $15.00
1 oz. Milligan's Mink & Muskrat Special Lure traps trapping1 oz. Milligan's Mink & Muskrat Special Lure traps trapping $6.00 Cute Real Muskrat Fur Coat With Real Raccoon Trim Estimated Size SmallCute Real Muskrat Fur Coat With Real Raccoon Trim Estimated Size Small $109.00
New! Unisex Leopard Print Muskrat Fur Mitts Mittens All Fur!New! Unisex Leopard Print Muskrat Fur Mitts Mittens All Fur! $69.99 Genuine Real Fur Amazing Glazed Muskrat Musquash Water Mink Full Length Fur CoatGenuine Real Fur Amazing Glazed Muskrat Musquash Water Mink Full Length Fur Coat $70.00
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Prices current as of last update, 10/15/17 8:40pm.

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