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Muskrat

Ondatra zibethicus
Muskrat

Range

The muskrat is found throughout North America to the Mexican border. They have been introduced to Europe and Asia.

Habitat

Muskrats are found in wetlands; swamps, marshes, ponds and lakes. They prefer marshes that keep 4 - 6 feet of water year round.

Body Traits

They are about 20-inches long including their hairless, scaly tail. They have dense brown fur and partially webbed back feet for swimming. (Not fully webbed like the American beaver.)

Habits

They can stay underwater for 15 minutes without coming up for air. They are active during the day (diurnal).

Diet

Muskrats eat plants and roots (herbivores).

Predators

They are an important food source for many predators, such as fox, coyote, lynx, eagles, hawks, etc.

Reproduction

Females are pregnant for 1 month (gestation), having about 6 young.

Lifespan and/or Conservation Status

They live about 3 years in the wild. They are listed as Lower Risk - least concern.

Muskrat

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Suborder: Myomorpha
Family: Cricetidae
Subfamily: Arvicolinae
Genus: Ondatra
Species: Ondatra zibethicus

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