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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Assorted Flytying Fur Fox,beaver,muskrat,bear,c oyote,minkAssorted Flytying Fur Fox,beaver,muskrat,bear,c oyote,mink $9.48 Was: Previous Price $12.99 Frost Whitetail 2nd Cut Bone Mini Muskrat 3 1/4"Pocket Knife Fwt215ScFrost Whitetail 2nd Cut Bone Mini Muskrat 3 1/4"Pocket Knife Fwt215Sc $7.00
Brown Genuine Muskrat Fur Coat Size MBrown Genuine Muskrat Fur Coat Size M $112.04 Real Taxidermy,Muskrat,rodent Skull Bone ,natural science,Teaching,marsh rabbitReal Taxidermy,Muskrat,rodent Skull Bone ,natural science,Teaching,marsh rabbit $7.11
Muskrat Old Timer Knife 2 Stainless Steel Blades & Yellow Handle 3.9" ClosedMuskrat Old Timer Knife 2 Stainless Steel Blades & Yellow Handle 3.9" Closed $19.99 Camillus Yello Jaket Muskrat 2 Blade Folding Knife Wood Case Yellow Jacket 19057Camillus Yello Jaket Muskrat 2 Blade Folding Knife Wood Case Yellow Jacket 19057 $14.00
Vintage Case Xx Muskrat Knife bone handlesVintage Case Xx Muskrat Knife bone handles $44.00 Canal Street New Reclaimed Chestnut Wood Handle 2 Blade Muskrat Knife/KnivesCanal Street New Reclaimed Chestnut Wood Handle 2 Blade Muskrat Knife/Knives $90.00
Muskrat Fur 3/4 Coat - Size SMuskrat Fur 3/4 Coat - Size S $300.00 Case Tree Rings Antique Muskrat 1/500 Pocket KnifeCase Tree Rings Antique Muskrat 1/500 Pocket Knife $83.65 List price: Previous Price $106.88
$27.50 Remington Cutlery Usa Knives 2015 Genuine Stag Bullet Knife Muskrat R4466Remington Cutlery Usa Knives 2015 Genuine Stag Bullet Knife Muskrat R4466 $16.38
Schrade 877 Muskrat Trapper 90's Rare Liner Lock Guthook W/Packaging,Papers RareSchrade 877 Muskrat Trapper 90's Rare Liner Lock Guthook W/Packaging,Papers Rare $151.99 Was: Previous Price $189.99 Case Xx Stag Muskrat Knife 2 Dot Red Letter 1978 "Near Mint!Case Xx Stag Muskrat Knife 2 Dot Red Letter 1978 "Near Mint! $195.00
Parker Imai 1980's Second Cut Stag Bone Serrated Muskrat Knife (Dw16)Parker Imai 1980's Second Cut Stag Bone Serrated Muskrat Knife (Dw16) $68.00 Was: Previous Price $85.00 Case Xx 2000 Smooth Appaloosa Bone Muskrat Free ShippingCase Xx 2000 Smooth Appaloosa Bone Muskrat Free Shipping $75.00
Jerry muskrat at home by thorton burgess & harrison cady little brown & co 1926Jerry muskrat at home by thorton burgess & harrison cady little brown & co 1926 $35.00 Schrade Ducks Unlimited 2 blade Knife 77Uh Muskrat w/ Staglon handle.Schrade Ducks Unlimited 2 blade Knife 77Uh Muskrat w/ Staglon handle. $120.00
Vintage Rare! Pal Cutlery Co. Usa "Muskrat" pocket knife Rough Black HandlesVintage Rare! Pal Cutlery Co. Usa "Muskrat" pocket knife Rough Black Handles $58.00 Rough Rider Moose pocket knife Limited edition Large Muskrat New free S&H UsaRough Rider Moose pocket knife Limited edition Large Muskrat New free S&H Usa $13.95
Bing & Satchmo Muskrat Ramble Danish M-G-M Ep 45Ps 1961Bing & Satchmo Muskrat Ramble Danish M-G-M Ep 45Ps 1961 $7.52 Boutique Reversible Muskrat Fur Front Hook Beige Nylon Fur Edge Coat Sz Xl 6750ABoutique Reversible Muskrat Fur Front Hook Beige Nylon Fur Edge Coat Sz Xl 6750A $255.18 Was: Previous Price $463.97
Stampin Up Muskrat Rubber StampStampin Up Muskrat Rubber Stamp $1.60 Was: Previous Price $6.39 North American Hunting Club 2 Blade Muskrat Meen68Er 41733H 0601North American Hunting Club 2 Blade Muskrat Meen68Er 41733H 0601 $7.99
Dinah Shore 78 Mood Indigo / Muskrat Ramble ~ Victor Vg+ jazzDinah Shore 78 Mood Indigo / Muskrat Ramble ~ Victor Vg+ jazz $3.75 Was: Previous Price $5.00 Captain & Tennille Greatest Hits inc Muskrat Love + Cassette Tape x 2 - TestedCaptain & Tennille Greatest Hits inc Muskrat Love + Cassette Tape x 2 - Tested $8.92
Remington Cutlery Usa Knives 2015 Green Stag Bullet Knife Muskrat R4466 #75/100Remington Cutlery Usa Knives 2015 Green Stag Bullet Knife Muskrat R4466 #75/100 $16.50 Case Xx 2012 Deep Canyon Calypso Bone Muskrat #12354Case Xx 2012 Deep Canyon Calypso Bone Muskrat #12354 $51.95
Xl 2Xl Shorn muskrat fur coat super soft sheared fur cropped gray brown oliveXl 2Xl Shorn muskrat fur coat super soft sheared fur cropped gray brown olive $499.00 Indian Kotzebue Muskrat Hunter & Kayak 8x10 Silver Halide Photo PrintIndian Kotzebue Muskrat Hunter & Kayak 8x10 Silver Halide Photo Print $14.99
Uzbekistan Stamp 1V Muskrat Ondatra & Tribe Ondatrini Mnh. Mnh.Uzbekistan Stamp 1V Muskrat Ondatra & Tribe Ondatrini Mnh. Mnh. $1.50 Wcs 16 Oz Appleicious Paste Bait Our Fresh Made Bait For Skunk Raccoon MuskratWcs 16 Oz Appleicious Paste Bait Our Fresh Made Bait For Skunk Raccoon Muskrat $14.59
Frost Steel Warrior Rams Horn Muskrat 3 1/2" Pocket Knife Fsw122RhFrost Steel Warrior Rams Horn Muskrat 3 1/2" Pocket Knife Fsw122Rh $22.00 Belisle #120 Super X Body Grip Trap Mink Muskrat Weasel MartenBelisle #120 Super X Body Grip Trap Mink Muskrat Weasel Marten $15.97
Real Coyote,Beaver,Mink,Muskra t Skulls,Taxidermy,Native Crafts natural scienceReal Coyote,Beaver,Mink,Muskra t Skulls,Taxidermy,Native Crafts natural science $38.95 Weekend at Muskrat Lake (ExLib)Weekend at Muskrat Lake (ExLib) $11.87
2011 Case Xx Elvis Presley Muskrat Knife with Elvis Shield - New Ca 175152011 Case Xx Elvis Presley Muskrat Knife with Elvis Shield - New Ca 17515 $42.75 Was: Previous Price $45.00 Case Xx Blue Bone Muskrat Knife 2005 5 Dot "Near Mint!"Case Xx Blue Bone Muskrat Knife 2005 5 Dot "Near Mint!" $75.00
Buck Knives #372 Muskrat #380 Mini Trapper 2006 Collectors EditionBuck Knives #372 Muskrat #380 Mini Trapper 2006 Collectors Edition $34.99 4 Captain & Tennille Records 'Muskrat Love/Honey Come Love Me' 45 Rpm4 Captain & Tennille Records 'Muskrat Love/Honey Come Love Me' 45 Rpm $4.75
Case Xx Watermelon Jigged Bone 1/3000 Muskrat Pocket Knife KnivesCase Xx Watermelon Jigged Bone 1/3000 Muskrat Pocket Knife Knives $59.75 List price: Previous Price $94.13 1763 Muskrat Le Ondatra Antique Print Buffon De Seve Rare Quarto Edition1763 Muskrat Le Ondatra Antique Print Buffon De Seve Rare Quarto Edition $19.99
Vg * Retired Collectible Buck 313 * Muskrat Born 1973-1985 In America *Vg * Retired Collectible Buck 313 * Muskrat Born 1973-1985 In America * $40.00 Muskrat Old Timer Knife 2 Stainless Steel Blades & Delrin Handle 4" ClosedMuskrat Old Timer Knife 2 Stainless Steel Blades & Delrin Handle 4" Closed $19.99
Case Xx Usa 9 Dot 1981 Pretty Bone Muskrat Knife Nice (522)Case Xx Usa 9 Dot 1981 Pretty Bone Muskrat Knife Nice (522) $116.00 Was: Previous Price $145.00 2 Outdoor books - Muskrat Raising & Ferret Facts2 Outdoor books - Muskrat Raising & Ferret Facts $9.00
2640 Amazing Real Shorn Muskrat Fur Coat Jacket Swinger Beautiful Look Size Xl2640 Amazing Real Shorn Muskrat Fur Coat Jacket Swinger Beautiful Look Size Xl $199.00 Frost Steel Warrior Ox Horn Muskrat 3 1/2" Pocket Knife Fsw122OxFrost Steel Warrior Ox Horn Muskrat 3 1/2" Pocket Knife Fsw122Ox $22.00
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Prices current as of last update, 06/16/17 8:20am.

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