Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Muskrat Susie, Muskrat Sam...
During a recent trip to the cabin we enjoyed watching a muskrat take advantage of nice weather and thin ice. It spent most of every daylight hour going up and down out of two ice holes, pulling up long strands of weeds and what looked like lily pad roots.
Muskrats do not hibernate, but they're usually not this visible at this point in the winter either. They spend most of the winter in their lodge (those large rounded mounds you see out in lakes) sleeping and eating.
They're still trapped for their fur, but even without the threat of traps, muskrats lead very short lives (one year is common, two or three years is rare). They make up for this by having as many as four litters a year though, starting in early March.
Here's a close-up of a muskrat at WRC for those who haven't seen one before. They essentially look like a small beaver with a long, naked tail (and don't worry, her other hand is gloved - they have very sharp teeth!):
And, just because it wouldn't be right to leave this out, here's the link to Muskrat Love. Enjoy!