The muskrat is a large rodent that is is about a foot to two feet long. It has a stocky body, a rounded head and a long, scaly black tail that is 7 to 12 inches long. Its tail is laterally flattened, that means it is flattened vertically! Its tail works like a rudder and helps the muskrat maneuver in the water! It has thick, soft, glossy, reddish-brown to dark brown fur on its upper sides and paler fur on its undersides. It has a thick coat of fur under its guard fur that is waterproof. It may also have a white patch of fur under its chin and a darker patch of fur on its nose. The muskrat has small eyes and tiny ears. It has short legs and small front feet. Its rear feet are larger and slightly webbed. It gets its name from the two musk glands on its rear under its tail.
This muskrat was found living in a wetland area, near a farm, and also near a small subdivision.
Photo of it grooming itself, note the much larger back feet compared to its front feet.