Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


Search in the Encyclopedia

Dieren en planten

Rodents   Voles   Common vole   Field vole   Root vole   Bank vole   Muskrat   

Water en land

Landforms   Rivers   
  • Dut: muskusrat (bisamrat, waterkonijn)
  • Eng: muskrat
  • Fren: le rat musqué
  • Ger: die Bisam(ratte)
  • Lat: Ondatra zibethicus
Muskrat, W.J. Phaff


Muskrats are good swimmers thanks to their webbed feet and slightly flattened tail. They live around freshwater lakes and rivers with overgrown banks. They dig tunnels into these banks, with the entrance usually located underwater. During the winter, they build lodges from grass and reed. Their diet consists of aquatic plants, grass, plant roots, field crops and occasionally freshwater shells, crustaceans and fish. Muskrats are sometimes consumed by humans. Since muskrats live in water, they are considered equivalent to fish. That is why Catholics living in Detroit are allowed to eat them on days when fish is permitted but not meat.

  • Wadden Islands

    Every once in a while, a muskrat will swim across the Wadden Sea. However, up to this time, not one animal has been able to establish a population on any of the islands.

  • Hunted

    Muskrats are eaten by fox, otters and minks. However, their greatest enemy is man due to the damage they cause to dikes.