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Fast Facts: Muskrats

No one would blame you if you confused a muskrat for a beaver, especially in the water, where they can look similar. Both muskrats and beavers are semiaquatic mammals, at home both on land and in the water. Muskrats are quite a bit smaller than beavers, weighing between 2 pounds and 5 pounds, compared to beavers, which weigh between 35 pounds and 65 pounds.

(Photo via Shutterstock)

Muskrats spend most of their time in the water. They prefer to live in marshes, where water levels typically remain constant and there’s plenty of food for them to eat. Muskrats are omnivores, eating both plants and animals, but they mainly eat plants. Cattails are a favorite food, but they also eat bulrush, duckweed and waterlilies, along with crayfish, frogs, fish and clams.


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