Location: In the marsh at our FortWhyte Nature Center southeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba
Make: Canon Model: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi F stop: F/5.6 Exposure: 1/200 sec. Focal length: 300.0 mm Flash: flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode (16) Dimensions: 1847×1338 Shutter speed (Tv): 7.6
Urban Wildlife on 1 March 2009.
Mangroves, Marshes and Mudflats on 4 April 2009
This muskrat came out from under the ice several times. I waited patiently to see if he would stay on the shore but every time he saw me he disappeared under the ice. This was the best closeup I could get. Muskrats are covered with short, thick fur which is medium to dark brown in color with the belly a bit lighter. 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 up to 15 minutes. Their bodies, like those of seals and whales, are less sensitive to the build up 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.