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Photo Information
Copyright: Mircea Costina (mirceax) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 229 W: 49 N: 1356] (6261)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-01-24
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon D50, Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro
Exposure: f/7.0, 1/300 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-02-25 16:40
Viewed: 2608
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Description: The muskrat is an overgrown, semi-aquatic vole. Muskrats have dense under-fur and a nearly waterproof "overcoat." Their feet are webbed and fringed with stiff hairs. The ankles are rotated out so the hind feet work as paddles (but rather inefficient walking feet). The tail is flattened side-to-side and serves as a rudder. The animals are dark brown in color, about 26 inches in length (of which the tail comprises nine inches) and weigh about two pounds.
Habitat: Their lodges, made mostly of cattails and other aquatic plants, may be three feet high and six feet across. Feeding stations are similar but smaller. Inside the lodge is a nest chamber accessible only from below the water. Once inside the lodge, muskrats are safe from predators other than mink and occasionally snapping turtles. Moving awkwardly on land, however, they are killed by coyotes, foxes and large owls. Floods also kill muskrats, and fluctuating water levels increase the risk of death. Muskrats are managed as furbearers in Colorado.
Diet: Like other voles, these are runway builders and herbivores, eating mostly grasses, cattails, bulrushes and other marsh plants. They occasionally damage cornfields on flood plains, and their burrowing sometimes weakens ditch banks and levees.
Reproduction: Females breed in spring and summer and produce two or three litters of one to ten(average about six) young after a gestation period of about 30 days. The newborn young are blind, naked and vole-like, with round tails. Soon they acquire the muskrat’s proper flattened tail, and at two weeks can swim and dive.

trinko, gjoess, JoseMiguel, nainnain, Roelena has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

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  • trinko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 78 N: 322] (4321)
  • [2007-02-25 16:52]

i've heard about muskrats but never seen one. nice capture with the reflections but some sharpening would help.

Cool shot. Very sharp. How easy are these to spot where you live ?

Hi Mircea,
A high quality image!
I like so much the clarity and sharpness of the picture.
It's a constant in your work, no signs of noise and smooth color transitions.
In this case you took really advantage of the good light, and the details on the head of the animal are simply outstanding.
The water is wonderful, with the small waves and reflections.
Congratulations and many thanks for share it with us.
Warm regards,

tres belle image, nette et claire de cette loutre, bons détails, bravo, je viens de visiter ta galerie que je ne conniassais pas et j'y découvre de tres belles images, bravo encore et merci du partage

there is a song I remember form the 50's that starts muskrat, muskrat where did you get that coat. I have always wondered what they looked like thank you for photographing one in such fine detail.

Ce simpatic animalutz!!! si fotografia este excelenta ca de obicei. Am numai o rugaminte, poti sa dai si denumirea stiintifica?



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