Who's this wetland architect?
Updated: Feb 1
Have you ever seen me before? I might look like a small beaver from far away, but I am another wetland dwelling member of the rodent family. I am a muskrat! My tail is long and narrow instead of wide and flat. I build lodges like beavers, but instead of using sticks and branches I use softer vegetation like grasses and rushes.
I spend a lot of time underwater - I can hold my breath up to 15 minutes at a time! Because of this I have a set of lips behind my large teeth so that I can close my mouth but still chew my food while swimming underwater. Talk about lunch to go! In the winter, I will eat some of the grasses woven into my lodge. Sometimes I will share a beaver lodge with its resident family for the winter months!
My fur is is very warm and was once popular in clothing. Pelts were dyed and trimmed to look more sleek, after which is was very popularly marketed in the 1920s and '30s as "Hudson Seal" fur!