I'm on the hunt for minks. It's that time of year again. It was a failed attempt yesterday, but all was not lost. I found Mr. Scissorhands, whom I deemed pretty cute. I know, he's not cute in the very raw sense of the word, and won't win any calendar contests, but still, in a "harmless to Hannibal" sort of way, he's gentle and sweet. He minds his own business as I intrude into his world, and he's tolerant, which are admirable traits. Did I sell ya on him? I didn't think so...
Interesting facts about Muskrats:
An adult muskrat is about 40 to 60 cm (16 to 24 inches) long, almost half of that tail, and weighs from 0.7 to 1.8 kg (1.5 to 4 lb). That is about four times the weight of the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), though an adult muskrat is only slightly longer. Muskrats are much smaller than beavers (Castor canadensis), with whom they often share their habitat.
Muskrats are covered with short, thick fur which is medium to dark brown or black in color with the belly a bit lighter but as the age increases it turns a partly gray in color. The fur has two layers, which helps protect them from the cold water. They have long tails which are covered with scales rather than hair and are flattened vertically to aid them in swimming. When they walk on land the tail drags on the ground, which makes their tracks easy to recognize.
Muskrats spend much of their time in the water and are well suited for their semi-aquatic life, both in and out of water. Muskrats can swim under water for 12 to 17 minutes. Their bodies, like those of seals and whales, are less sensitive to the buildup of carbon dioxide than those of most other mammals. They can close off their ears to keep the water out. Their hind feet are semi-webbed, although in swimming the tail is their main means of propulsion. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muskrat)