Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Muskrat

I encountered three muskrats on one of our last, warm November afternoons.  Muskrats feed mainly on aquatic vegetation.  They are not dormant during the winter, and must eat every day. Muskrats, rats and mice belong to the same family.  Muskrats owe their name to their musky scent glands with which they mark their territories.

Muskrat populations expand and contract through a 6 to 10 year cycle. The muskrats in this photo are likely a family group. They burrow in bank-sides of lakes or streams or they build lodges with underwater entrances.  Muskrats also build platforms for feeding.

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