The muskrat looks like a rat.
The structure of the lips is similar to another semi-aqueous animal – the beaver. Thanks to which it can eat underwater. Unlike the beaver has no paddle-tail. Concedes it and its size, although it looks larger than a rat. Body and tail length is almost the same 23-35cm and 18-28cm. The weight of an adult rat varies about 1.5 kg. There are other interesting facts about muskrat.
The real home of this animal is the middle belt of North America. The muskrat was brought to Europe in 1905. At present, it has settled down to the eastern outskirts of Eurasia. It prefers swampy places and does not need big open dams like beavers. We have collected for you the most amazing facts about muskrat.
7 facts about muskrat
- The body of the animal is perfectly adapted to the water lifestyle. Paws with membranes between fingers. Thick fur with underfur, constantly lubricated with grease. There is an increased level of hemoglobin in the blood, which increases the oxygen supply and time spent in the dive.
- Lives in burrows, but can build huts like beavers. The dam does not build but has certain achievements in the design of housing. If necessary, he builds floating structures. Not only for their habitation but also for food supplies.
- The main diet is vegetable food. The share of consumption of live food in the form of water inhabitants, worms, insects is only 5-7%.
- Very fertile. In case of excessive overpopulation may fall to domestic cannibalism. The breeding season in the middle belt is in the spring-summer period. In southern countries, it can become a year-round process.
- Ondatra is monogamous. A male takes part in the care of his offspring, only at the beginning. He brings food to his mother so that she would not be separated from the brood. Thus, the female is not in danger of getting into the paws of predators.
- It is easy to be held in captivity and not afraid of humans. However, in contact with them, one should be very careful. These animals may be carriers of serious infectious diseases: tularaemia, paratif.
- In large communities gather only in winter to warm the inner space of the burrow better. In summer, individual pairs live separately. They mark the territory with the secret of a special muscular gland and do not welcome the violation of their borders even by congeners. In moments of overpopulation, the young go in search of new living spaces.
TOP 3 most interesting facts about muskrat.
- The meat of the beast is edible. But it is eaten mainly at home: in Canada and the United States, where it has the second name of water rabbit.
- Thanks to the secretion of the inguinal glands, it got name – muskrat.
- From the multitude of predators threatening it, usually rescues itself in the water, but in a desperate situation, it can rush against the enemy, using sharp teeth and claws.
More interesting facts about muskrat
Paradoxically, for humans, these rodents are a source of good-quality fur. At the same time, with its rapid activity, rodents cause harm to humans, violating the integrity of the earth’s hydraulic structures in areas of rice cultivation.
For some mysterious reasons, the population of these animals tends to a sharp decline, with a frequency of 6-10 years. Muskrats are excellent swimmers and can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes.