Mostly found in North America, muskrats have long been prized for their fur and are the most frequently caught fur-bearing animal in the United States. Muskrat fur is made up of two kinds of hair; the long, coarse and glossy outer guard hairs protect the softer, dense insulating hairs from damage. Colors are mostly browns with lighter shades of grays or blonds on chest and stomach areas. The under fur traps air and prevents the muskrat’s skin becoming wet while it is in the water.
Before truth in advertising laws was applied to the fur trade, muskrat was often called ‘River Mink’, and sheared, dyed muskrat was often called ‘Hudson Seal’.
Written by Pauline Cameron & Katie Kemsley