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. Adult body length is usually between 25-40cm long, with a strong, laterally compressed tail 20-25cm 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 1700g, about four times the weight of a Brown Rat. They live in wetlands: ponds, lakes, marshes and river banks, and 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.














Page1| Page 2


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. 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.

Images 1 Through 3 Are From The US Fish & Wildlife Service
Images Number 4 Is From The N.R.C.S.
Images 5 Through 10 Are From The National Parks Service



Aligator
Dinosaur
Frog
Komodo Dragon
Lizard
Sea Turtle
Snake
Toad
Tortoise
Turtle
MORE...


Carp
Catfish
Crab
Crayfish
Eel
Largemouth Bass
Lobster
Minnow
Pike
Octopus
Perch
Salmon
Sea Horse
Starfish
Stingray
Sunfish
Trout
Tuna
MORE...









All text contained in Animaltrek.com is licensed to the public under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). All Information is courtesy of Wikipedia.
Copyrights | Privacy Policy | © 2005 FUN GROUP INC.