A muskrat is a small semi-aquatic rodent with glossy brown fur and a hairless tail. The muskrat gets its name from its rat-like appearance and a musky odor that is produced by its scent glands. They are animals that need to be around water. Muskrats build their dens in or alongside water and feed primarily on the aquatic plants surrounding their dens, such as cattails, water lilies, and duckweeds.
Muskrats are typically found near water. Floating pieces of cattails or duckweed on the surface of the water are key indicators of muskrat feeding. Eroded shorelines are also caused by collapsed muskrat dens built into banks or shorelines.