In this month’s “Past is Prologue,” an Eastern Shore farmer talks about hunting for muskrats. How much do you know about this marshland mammal?

Match up these words with the blanks in the muskrat facts below.

CATTAILS

CHESTNUT

CLAWED

MARSH RABBIT

MUSQUASH

PONDS

RUDDER

SCALY

UNDERWATER

WEBBED

1. The Algonquin Indians’ word for muskrat is __________.

2. The muskrat’s favorite food is _________.

3. The muskrat’s tail is naked and _________.

4. The muskrat’s tail helps the animal to stand on its two back legs. It is also used as a when swimming.

5. The color of the muskrat’s long, glossy outer hair ranges from black to ________.

6. The muskrat’s hind feet help to make it a powerful swimmer.

7. The muskrat uses its front feet to dig burrows in stream banks.

8. The muskrat has a “valvular” mouth. This means the muskrat can close its lips behind its four incisor teeth, which lets the animal gnaw on plants while it is ________.

9. Muskrats live in marshes, lakes, slow-moving creeks and _________.

10. Some people like to eat muskrat. Muskrat meat is often sold under the name,  ________.

Answers:

1. Musquash 2. Cattails 3. Scaly 4. Rudder 5. Chestnut 6. Webbed 7. Clawed 8. Underwater 9. Ponds 10. Marsh Rabbit