Found in almost all of North America, the muskrat is a common semi-aquatic member of the rodent family. Muskrats are mainly herbivores - they enjoy grasses, cattail leaves, roots and sedges. Muskrats also eat some fish, freashwater clams, and crustaceans.
Muskrats are much smaller than beavers. They are abundant and very adaptable. Muskrats dig their dens in the banks of ponds and streams. They find refuge in marshes.
Muskrats can have four litters of 5-6 young annually. The first litter is born in April or May. The young are born blind and naked in a dry grass lined nest. Their eyes open at two weeks. When they are well furred they start to swim and nibble on vegetation. They are full grown at six months of age. Females that are born early in the spring can start their own families by fall.