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Old May 17, 2007, 9:04 PM   #11
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Donna A. wrote:
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gosh Roger, he is cute....shame, people around here love to eat them...
I have never tried Muskrat for food. I agree they are kind of cute. Donna thanks for commenting and for looking.


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Old May 18, 2007, 7:57 PM   #12
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I have had a few folks ask Beaver or Muskrat how do you know????

Beaver or Muskrat

Tails are the key. The beaver's broad, flat tail does not show during swimming.

If you see a slim, round tail held out of the water or swaying back and forth on top of the water, the animal is nutria (or a muskrat).

There it is! But now its gone. Was it a Muskrat or a Beaver? These two fur-bearing mammals inhabit similar habitats and share some fascinating traits yet are quite different. The Muskrat is not a close relative of the Beaver, but rather a large field mouse that has adapted to life in and around the water.

Both species are active year round, even when the water is frozen over. When in a relaxed state, they can remain submerged for up to 15 minutes, but 2 or 3 minutes is most common. They both have lips that close behind their incisors enabling them to gnaw and chew plantlife while under water. Non-aquatic mammals would have great difficulty in trying to chew on a large object under water, because water would enter the mouth, throat and nasal passages.

The most obvious physical differences are in size, weight, hind feet and tail. Beaver are considerably bigger weighing (depending upon age, sex and season) an average of 20 kg (44 lb) as compared to about 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) for the average muskrat. When swimming it may be difficult to clearly see the tail. Beaver have the characteristic flat tail and Muskrat have a long rodent-like "rat" tail. The hind feet of a Muskrat are not webbed whereas a Beaver's are webbed.


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