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Common muskrat Ondatra zibethica


A large aquatic rodent (Ondata zibethicus) native to North America, but introduced to Eurasia in the 1900s. Muskrats have thick gold-, black- or brown-color fur with lighter colors on its belly. The short, soft underfur is heavily overlaid with long, stiff, dark guard hairs. Muskrat furs were popular for coats in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Muskrat furs are sometimes sheared and dyed to resemble seal fur.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Ondatra zibethicus; musquash; marsh rabbit; river mink; Hudson seal (sheared and dyed fur); Bisamratte (Deut.); Bisam (Deut.); rat musqué (Fr.); muskusrat (Ned.); bisamrotte (Nor.); pi¿mak (Pol.);

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Resources and Citations

  • Edward Reich, Carlton J. Siegler, Consumer Goods: How to Know and Use Them, American Book Company, New York City, 1937