Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Edward Scissorhands

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...

Edward Scissorhands

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)

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8 comments:

Montanagirl said...

Don't you just love animals - and people too for that matter - that mind their own business?? LOL. He does have some serious claws.

Chris said...

Excellent encounter once again. I sometime envy you for this fancy animals you have around you ;-) You got nice pictures of this muskrat

Rusty said...

A fine looking fellow. Also good to have around in the wild. ATB!

Diana said...

You take incredible pictures, thanks. Diana

Rick Kratzke said...

As you know I am partial to all animals so I loved the pics. Great description you came up with to.

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Carol said...

Cute little fellow...definately has his own back scratcher. Nice series and information.

Mel said...

Great photo of a cute fellow. My family from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay considered Muskrat a delicacy. I never tried it and ran to another room when they would eat them. I had no problem eating fish or crab, but the furry creatures were not part of my menu. I have never seen one in the wild, so thanks for this photo.

Willard said...

Superb, stunning detail in the photos and good writing in the post. You convinced me to buy the 300mm2.8 (without saying one word-I just kept looking at the results) and I have no regrets--it is a great lens. Now you will really have a laugh if you didn't take these with your 300 2.8, but I would almost bet money you did.