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Muskrat | by neil.fisher
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Muskrat Ondatra zibethicus


Often mistaken for a beaver, as its preferred habitats is identical, the muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) is essentially a large field mouse perfectly adapted for life in and around the water. Its specially evolved teeth protrude in front of its cheeks - this allows its lips to close behind the teeth, allowing the muskrat to chew on soft plant matter while underwater without receiving a mouth full of water. The muskrat is able to find food during winter under a metre of snow and ice, in ice-cold water and in total darkness - not bad for a aquatic field mouse. Their most preferred plant is the cattail, however, they also feed upon bulrushes, horsetails and pondweeds.


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Taken on September 14, 2017