CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) are easily recognized by their moderate size, their blunt head, and small non-descript ears and eyes.Adult muskrat weigh between 2.5 and 4 pounds, and total length may range from 23 … The gestation period lasts about a month, and litters contain between six and eight offspring. When attempting to identify the animal by sight, if you don’t know the basic physical differences between the species, the animals can be mistaken for each other. That is, until you check its tail! Humans have introduced this species into Eurasia and South America as well, where researchers consider them an invasive species. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. Their tails add another 7 to 11 inches (18 to 28 cm) to their length, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. Muskrats are often confused with the beaver, but they are much smaller with silky brown fur and have a long, thin tail instead of a wide, flat tail like a beaver. Their populations are much less profuse. Once a favorite of Mountain Men, it’s still popular today and widely… Northern muskrats can weigh more and muskrats from southern climates can weigh less. Families live together and defend territories from others. However, across their native and introduced range they have high population numbers. You can find them from the eastern coast to the western coast of North America. Humans have not domesticated this species in any way. That is where they spend the winter and raise their young. Walnut Hill Tracking & Nature Center : 325 Walnut Hill Rd, Orange MA 01364: Phone: 978-544-6083: E-mail: walnuthilltracking@verizon.net They look like a cross between a beaver and muskrat, and have been introduced in North America as an invasive species. Typically weighing in somewhere between 1 and 5 pounds, muskrats have short, dense brown to black glossy fur, long tails composed of scales rather than fur to help them swim, large webbed hind feet, and lengthy curved teeth similar to those of a beaver (they’re in the same family). Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. At a glance, this creature looks a bit like a small beaver. This mammal is quite social and territorial. Because of this, the IUCN lists the Muskrat as Least Concern. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. They're known mostly for their destructive burrowing in ponds, streams and dams, but there's more than this to these large wetland-dwelling mammals. These invasive populations stretch from Europe across Asia. So, what do muskrats look like exactly? In addition to their natural food sources, these rodents also eat a variety of crops. © Copyright Critter Control. They also provide the rodents with a variety of hiding places and plants to forage on. These creatures also breed quickly to replenish their population. They grow from 16 to 25 inches (41 to 63.5 centimeters) long and weigh around 1.5 to 4 lbs. And, if I plated the mock-muskrat in a dish filled at the bottom with a dark, bourbon-infused sauce, it would actually imitate an intoxicated muskrat swimming in a swamp. And those famous dome-shaped lodges that industrious beavers build for their families? Navigate to homepage. Beaver tails are wide, flat and paddle-shaped, while muskrats have long, skinny tails with flat sides. Answer #1 | 03/05 2016 17:53 It looks like a beaver kinda, without the tail. Answer for question: Your name: Answers. Channels that lead to their ponds (sometimes look human made) Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) Characteristics. They spend most of their time swimming and wading through the water, foraging for food. They are cute if you like rodents. To safely identify and control muskrat infestations, property owners can contact the wildlife professionals at Critter Control. Muskrats are extremely territorial creatures. Most muskrats have long, dark, reddish-brown fur on the upper parts of the body and short, silver-tipped fur underneath. I figured that if I could work a tail into this log, it could actually look like a muskrat. Wherever you see there is a lot of activity, you will need to locate 3 to 4 inches of water near that area to set the trap in. They sometimes dig into dams or dikes, weakening the structures and disrupting carefully planned water flow patterns. The name muskrat comes from their resemblance to rats and the musky odor produced by their scent glands. Muskrat homes usually look like cattails and bulrushes in mounds. muskrat picture gallery for wildlife identification View the muskrat images on this page to better aid in identifying muskrats on your property. It is not uncommon to find them in retention ponds and canals. Adults weigh anywhere from 23 to 63 oz., but they weigh about 40 oz. Their fur is typically dark brown, though it can vary from black to almost white. Although they live in similar habitats, there are basic differences in their habits and appearance and knowing these basic differences will help in identifying the signs of mink present. Minks are members of the weasel family and look very similar to weasels and otters. Muskrats are semi-aquatic and live near waterways, building their dens along the banks. If you have … Additionally, check for muskrat dropping on dry, elevated surfaces, like tree stumps, rocks, or feeding platforms. Muskrats are around the size of large rats. As we discussed above, these rodents love watery habitats. Dangling at its end was a muskrat — his ninth catch of the day. Critter Control Logo. Muskrats look more like their relatives the beaver with their thick coat of fur and stocky appearance. These burrows have chambers that remain dry, as well as ramps to underwater tunnels and hidden ventilation holes at ground-level obscured by vegetation. They frequently travel up to 200 yards from their dens for food, which includes a wide variety of plant life and crops. The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. And at number one in our countdown comes … beaver! Some of the different types of ecosystems that they utilize include ponds, wetlands, marshes, streams, lakes, swamps, bogs, and more. Muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) are the smallest of the three species (2 to 4 lbs) and are moderate swimmers. Most individuals measure between 16 and 24 in. Large populations are capable of defoliating aquatic vegetation, which reduces habitats for other wildlife and causes ecological problems. The Indians called them muskquoshes which, I think makes more sense because muskrat gets you thinking about rats, and muskrats are more than big swimming rats with long tails even though that is what they look like. Groups forage most at dusk and dawn, but they do not have strict activity schedules. Some of their favorite foods are cattails and water lilies. The tail is hairless, but the rest of the body has coarse brown hair. The Muskrat is a mid-sized rodent that originates in North America. People hunt these rodents for their fur and as food. It takes between six months and a year for the young to reach full independence. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items. The bulk of their diet consists of virtually anything, including roots, grasses, leaves, and stems. Generally speaking, they prefer living in habitats with lots of water to swim in. In most places, it is actually illegal to own a Muskrat as a pet. They also kill them for destroying crops. In 1920′s and 1930′s it was popular to pluck, shear and dye muskrats. Muskrats have thicker tails than rats and can survive longer underwater. Their fur is typically dark brown, though it can vary from black to almost white. Muskrats have long, narrow tails that are just slightly flattened. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. They prefer living in regions with plenty of water and lots of dense vegetation to eat. The tail is hairless and covered in scales, and is used to facilitate swimming in the water. Their denning and feeding habitats are the main causes of conflict between muskrats and humans. These rodents are approximately two feet long, with tails that range in length from 8 to 12 inches, and weigh two to four pounds. Muskrats have a tail that is flattened vertically (the opposite of the beaver) and is longer and more "rat-like". The “musk” part of their name holds true, they have a musty and unpleasant odor. Humans have also introduced this species outside of its natural range. A muskrat looks something like a cross between a gopher and a beaver. Adults weigh anywhere from 23 to 63 oz., but they weigh about 40 oz. on average. Lakes, ponds, marshes and streams are all desirable places for a muskrat to live. The mother weans them when they are just one month old. They have small front feet but the… They live from northern Canada into the southern United States. Additionally, muskrats carry the bacterial disease tularemia and are among the few animals that defecate in water, which can cause illness in people who drink from streams. Muskrats use their sharp front claws to excavate dens by burrowing into the banks of streams. Muskrats have long, narrow tails that are just slightly flattened. Because of this, many consider them an agricultural pest. Due to their need for ready access to bodies of water, muskrats are usually found in wetlands, swamps, and coastal areas with abundant vegetation. You can, however, look for signs of muskrat activity, such as footprints with 4 toes in the front and 5 in the back, along with a long tail mark between the prints. This species is an interesting, albeit troublesome, creature. Mink: … Most individuals measure between 16 and 24 in. Much smaller than a beaver, but not as large as a nutria; About 16 to 25 inches long; May reach a maximum of four pounds; Long, rat-like tail that is flattened vertically They are smaller than beavers, but larger than rats, growing to be as large as two feet long. The round, slightly haired tail, 13 to 16 inches in length is easily distinguishable from the flat horizontal Generally, this rodent does not make a good pet. Read on to learn about the Muskrat. What does it look like? Differing in size and coloration according to species, they have lithe slender bodies, short legs, rounded ears, bushy tails, and soft thick coats that are valuable in the fur trade. Identification. Even though muskrats and beavers are only distantly related, they can be hard to tell apart. The natural range of this species extends throughout much of North America. In some areas where their natural habitat is scarce, these rodents occupy other manmade habitats. This is a creature that likes to live near ponds, lakes, and other natural bodies of water. long. All rights reserved. on average. They’re both brown, rotund animals with bare, fleshy tails. Marten, any of several weasel-like carnivores of the genus Martes (family Mustelidae), found in Canada and parts of the United States and in the Old World from Europe to the Malay region. They're classified as a rodent because of their four incisor teeth in the front of their mouth and they weigh around 3 pounds. Muskrat Appearance: Muskrats are considered ‘medium’ in size when it comes to the rodent family. (0.7 to 2 kilograms). The muskrat and its bigger cousin, the beaver, are the only mammals that actually build homes in the water. The muskrat can look like a beaver with brown fur and partially webbed-hind feet, but look for its long (8-10 inch), narrow, flattened, hairless, rat-like tail. What does a muskrat look like ? Muskrat Scat: Great Horned Owl Pellet Regurgitated after digestion Note: bones & hair: Screech Owl Pellet Regurgitated after digestion Note: bones & hair: Raccoon Scat: Raccoon scat: Raccoon scat: Raccoon scat: Red Fox scat: Squirrel scat: Woodchuck scat: Worm castings: Worm castings: Worm casts Muskrats are also about half the size of a beaver, measuring 18-25 inches long. North American, Asian, European and Chinese muskrats and fur coats made out of them looks like mink or sometimes even like Alaskan seal fur. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Animals.NET aim to promote interest in nature and animals among children, as well as raise their awareness in conservation and environmental protection. Carolyn September 19, 2015 Reply Visiting in the Adirondacks we had the pleasure of watching a what we know now after ur report was a big beaver at work. You can usually see a muskrat’s whole body when it … "Looks like we got one," he yelled over his shoulder. Fox: The fox is the smallest canine in the group and have the smallest print (2 to 3”), almost dainty … The tail is hairless, but the rest of the body has coarse brown hair. Positive: 100 %. They both swim, often paddling at the surface. Though they are primarily herbivorous, and mostly eat plants, this species also feeds on small animals occasionally. Though they are often mistaken for beavers and nutrias, muskrats are smaller than both. They will also eat crops from gardens near their homes. Answer #2 | 04/05 2016 00:53 It looks like a beaver kinda, without the tail. Zookeepers feed them a commercially produced rodent chow, as well as grasses, hay, and vegetables. The muskrat tail makes up more than half the body length. long. These muskrat pictures highlight where muskrats often appear around homes and what effective traps look like for capturing the critters. They are distinguishable from beavers by their smaller size and the characteristics of the tail and feet. These rodents are quite common, but zoos do not frequently keep them in their collections. Other distinguishing features include small eyes and ears, short front legs with claws for digging, and longer hind legs with partially webbed feet that help the animal swim. All photos used are royalty-free, and credits are included in the Alt tag of each image. Muskrats are unique, semi-aquatic rodents named for the musky smell and rat-like appearance. The muskrat is not really a rat, but it is a common herbivore (plant eater) of Minnesota's wetlands. The muskrat (Ondatra zibethica), although a stocky, short-legged creature that looks more like a vole than a rat, is often no less of a pest. A female can breed two or three times in a single year. Scientific Name: Ondatra zibethicus Description. The pests' heads are broad and feature small eyes and short, rounded ears. Though their name includes the term “rat,” this species is more closely related to lemmings and voles. Humans have also introduced them to South America as well. However, the mom will kick out her grown offspring if food becomes scarce. It was the time when musk fur looked like seal ( Hudson seal). The muskrat is named for the musky odor is emits when threatened. These rodents are approximately two feet long, with tails that range in length from 8 to 12 inches, and weigh two to four pounds. A muskrat is a versatile animal that can adapt to wide variety of climates but the animal is very dependent on water. Muskrats are semi-aquatic and live near waterways, building their dens along the banks. Walker knelt down and tugged at a rope buried in mud. Learn more about the various traits and behaviors of this rodent, below. 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