The muskrat or Ondatra zibethicus it is the largest of the rodent family. It is related to the American beaver, and the Round- tailed muskrat. The muskrat has soft, dense underfur, long, course, shiny guard hairs




Дата канвертавання24.04.2016
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The muskrat or Ondatra zibethicus it is the largest of the rodent family. It is related to the American beaver, and the Round- tailed muskrat. The muskrat has soft, dense underfur, long, course, shiny guard hairs. It is silvery brown, dark brown, or black. The fur is also water proof to keep the body from getting wet and to keep the animal warm. The feet are usually dark brown, or black they rarely have white feet. They have a long scaly tail which is flatted like a beaver’s tail. Its hind feet are partially webbed to help it swim faster, and its forefeet are smaller than the hind feet, it also has small ears and small eyes. The muskrat mostly swims but occasionally walks to get food, it has four legs and a long, flat tail to help is swim faster and to help it build a house. The average length is 16 1/8 – 24 inches the average weight is 11/4 – 4 lb.

The habitat of this animal is mostly around, wetlands, marshes, ponds, and slow-moving water which is 4-6 inches deep. The muskrat builds a lodge out of cattails, and bulrushes held together by mud and leaves. They use mud to make a base before they build their home to keep it level. Their lodge has many chambers and has to holes on the side and bottom one is the entrance and the other the exit. The muskrat lives in groups to help protect each other and help find more food. The female muskrats gestation period lasts about 30 days, the average number of offspring per couple is 6 offspring.

The muskrat is most active at dawn/dusk and at night. They mostly eat fresh plants or other animals such as: frogs, insects, clams, mussels, snails, crayfish, small fish, cattails, sedges, rushes, water lilies, and pond weeds. The major predators of a Muskrat are the minks, foxes, coyotes, and the lynx. The muskrat lives about 3-4 years.

The muskrat stay submerged underwater for at least 15 minutes. Here are some interesting facts about the muskrat. They can stay submerged underwater for more than 15 minutes. They will make modifications to the lodge if it is too small to live in. They do not store food for the winter instead they eat fresh plants all winter long. They have fur mouth flaps behind their teeth to help them chew underwater. Their tail can help them swim forward and backward. This animal is not see a lot but it is one amazing creature!


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