Friday March 5, 2010

Over the years we have learned not to be surprised at the things we catch in our various traps and sampling techniques, but the animals we catch do not have the benefit of our experience, and are usually quite perplexed at their current predicament.
Such is the case with this muskrat (Ondatra zibethicusis ) looking up at us from the inside of a large dip-net. Muskrats are a medium-sized semi-aquatic rodent native to North America commonly found in lower elevation rivers and wetlands. Muskrats are well adapted for aquatic life with partially webbed feet, laterally flattened tail and dense fur. They only grow to about 2 feet with half of that being tail, feed on cattails and other aquatic vegetation, and do not store food for the winter.
Photo source: FISHBIO

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