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Good article Muskrat has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 20, 2007 Featured article candidate Not promoted
January 24, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article

Cultural Reference[edit]

An editor has twice removed the following, apparently without comment:

"Muskrat town, muskrat town," are the lyrics of a song written for a huge dinner in 1906. "Detroit is all right to see, but Monroe is the place for me. Roast 'em brown, roast 'em brown. Gravy, gravy, gravy, gravy."[1]

This is a charming story, fully sourced to a major newspaper and an historical library. It is relevant because it helps to illustrate a portion of the species' rather significant cultural and historical significance in the United States. There were 2,000 people attending this dinner.

If anybody can offer a reason why it ought not to be included, please enlighten me on the rationale. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Calamitybrook (talkcontribs) 03:34, 21 July 2008 (UTC)


Cricetidae is an invalid synonym for Muridae according to ITIS. NCBI gives Muridae. I reverted the change because I can't find anyone who shows Ondatra as Cricetidae, and Wikipedia calls the family Muridae. Is there support for this change? —Tkinias 10:54, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I just put together a Cricetidae page, which should explain most of it. Muridae as defined by NCBI and ITIS is based on Musser and Carleton's chapter in Wilson and Reeder's Mammal Species of the World 1993. They explained (Caleton and Musser in a 1984 publication) that they subsumed all subfamilies of muroids into a single family, Muridae, because there was no data to support how any of the previous authors divided the group into families. This was not done because it shouldn't be split into several families (1/4 of all mammals are in this superfamily), just that there was no way of knowing how the subfamilies are related to each other. Since 1993 there have been a series of genetic studies (i.e. Michaux et al. in Molecular Biology and Evolution 2001; Jansa and Weksler in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 2004; and Norris et al. in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 2004) on the group that have all shown essentially the same relationships. The best of these, Steppan et al. 2004, is referenced on the Muroidea page. They proposed the taxonomy shown there. -Aranae 05:48, Dec 8, 2004 (UTC)
(I moved Aranae's post to make the chronology clear...) OK, cool. I should have looked at who was doing the edit. Being unfamiliar with the literature, I thought this was reverting to an older classification (such as I've seen people do on some fish pages). Looks good. —Tkinias 18:13, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Muskrat Trapping[edit]

A Muskrat Trapping article was just created; but I think it would be better suited in here. Merge and redirect? --Andy Saunders 15:28, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

  • MERGE - SirIsaacBrock 01:47, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Agreed. MERGE - fdewaele 16:05, 1 May 2006 (CET)
  • MERGE Do it!
  • DON'T MERGE, its ok to have more than 1 section for an animal.
  • MERGE - The trapping article has to do with an aspect of the Muskrat's life. --Acromagalin 22:06, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • UNMERGE (or would that be SPLIT?) The trapping section now takes up about half of the article. RANT Way too much of WP's coverage of animals is human-centric. Look at this article. The majority of it is about how we give them a name or how we exploit them or they harm our interests. One of the worst I have come across is Donkey about half the article is not about donkeys at all but about the connontations of the words "donkey" and "ass". I mentioned this on its talk page. Thanks. I feel better now. Steve Dufour 19:31, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
  • UNMERGE, animal trapping is quite complex, and describing it uses language and many new terms that the average person would not understand without seeking a definition. Because of the explanations involved, it would be lengthy, and take up too much space here were it to be truly comprehensive and authoritative. I do concur that the result of merging with the trapping article makes it too centered upon mankind's use for the animal, also, the trapping information is shallow and vague at best. Nowhere is mentioned the use of drowning rigs and wires, colony traps, appropriate footholds, cage traps, jump traps, lures and baits, snares, conibears (body grips,) cable restraints, or methods for cage trapping. I say unmerge the article, and slap a "stub" label on the old trapping article.Tsarevna (talk) 07:41, 15 August 2008 (UTC)


How about a picture with color like out in it's surroundings. --Riverofdreams 15:58, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

Would this one do? It's a little blurry, and you'd have to contact the copyright holder for permission, but looking at that site it seems possible that he'd give it. It says he took all the photos on that site himself. Also, if he could be convinced to generally consider putting images under the GFDL for Wikipedia on request, his page could be a very useful resource--it seems to have a lot of pictures of nature and such that would be valuable on Wikipedia. Anyway, you could check out the Boilerplate request for permission and send something like that to his email address if you want. Alternatively, this one is at this government site, so we might be able to use it... but I don't see any copyright notices, so you'd have to contact the address at the bottom of that second link to ask about copyright status first. A simple Google Image search for [muskrat] turns up 9,080 results; I'm sure if you dug around a little you could find one you could use under the GFDL, or whose copyright holder could be convinced to put it under the GFDL. Aquillion 02:47, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
    • Replaced line drawing with clear FWS color photo. Hope you like it. Muskrats don't seem to be too photogenic, but this one was. By the way, I sort of know the webmaster of the Eco-USA page you referenced. He's a fellow Hoosier. User:Cuppysfriend 1 September 2005.

Difference between Nutria?[edit]

Since Nutria are similar-looking animals that often dwell in wetlands alongside Muskrat (in many places in North America,) perhaps the differences between the two animals could be pointed out in the article? It is important for a landowner/hunter to know the difference, since, in some states, Muskrat are classified as "furbearers," and therefore subject to closed seasons and regulation, whereas the non-native Nutria is typically not protected. Perhaps a side-by-side illustration of their body shape or skulls could help the reader understand the difference?Tsarevna (talk) 07:44, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

As I understand it the muskrat has a much longer tail, which is vertically flattened. This could be mentioned. Steve Dufour 19:14, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
The size seems to be the main difference, the nutria is much larger. I have added the info to the article. Steve Dufour 03:21, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, looks good!Tsarevna (talk) 07:44, 15 August 2008 (UTC)


-What is "medium sized" DGerman (talk) 17:24, 26 December 2007 (UTC) -Can we get the measurements in inches, especially considering it is an animal native to America? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:00, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

They should be in both. I will check it out. What do they use in Canada? Steve Dufour 19:16, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I took care of that, at least for the size of the animals. Steve Dufour 06:27, 16 November 2007

Too much hunting and trapping?[edit]

About half the article is about how to kill a muskrat. I think some of that could be taken out and/or more information about muskrats themselves added to the article. Steve Dufour 19:14, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

I am going to add some info and make some changes to the article. Please forgive my low-tech footnotes. Steve Dufour 02:55, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I went ahead and removed the "hunting and trapping" section. It was totally uncited and was objected to during the FA nomination. Besides, other articles about animals don't have this kind of thing. Steve Dufour (talk) 13:00, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Isn't the article lop-sided about trapping information because the article was merged with a Muskrat Trapping article? I make my case above for the reasons to unmerge.Tsarevna (talk) 07:43, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Good article nomination on hold[edit]

This article's Good Article promotion has been put on hold. During review, some issues were discovered that can be resolved without a major re-write. This is how the article, as of January 21, 2008, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: Symbol wait.svg The prose is very readable, and certainly meets the GA standard. But in terms of Manual of Style compliance, the article needs some work. Structurally, the sections in the article are far too broad. Compare to articles such as the GA-class Northern Cardinal, which has separate sections for diet, behavior and distribution/habitat. I'm going to try some sectioning changes along those lines, so please let me know what you think.
2. Factually accurate?: Symbol support vote.svg The nominator expressed some hesitance about the style of citations on WP:GAC. Per the GA criteria and the Manual of Style, either the footnote (i.e. <ref>) format or Harvard referencing is acceptable. The key is internal consistency in style, and the appropriate placement of in-line cites, which the article does well.
3. Broad in coverage?: Symbol support vote.svg Broad and concise.
4. Neutral point of view?: Symbol support vote.svg Gives fair representation to all significant points of view.
5. Article stability? Symbol support vote.svg Obviously stable, with no edit wars underway.
6. Images?: Symbol wait.svg The core GA requirement for images is that any images present have sufficient source and licensing info. Currently, Image:Rat-Musque.jpg has no license. You may try to contact the uploader to provide one, or simply replace it. I've recently uploaded some new images to the muskrat category, so unless there are any objections I'll be making some changes to the images. Note that any such changes aren't a pass/fail issue, so feel free to dispute them if you disagree. Most importantly, I want to change the lead taxobox image to Image:Rat-Musque.jpg.

As stated above, I'm going to try and make the necessary changes myself. I await your feedback before passing the article.

Please address these matters soon and then leave a note here showing how they have been resolved. After 48 hours the article should be reviewed again. If these issues are not addressed within 7 days, the article may be failed without further notice. Thank you for your work so far. VanTucky 00:05, 21 January 2008 (UTC)


For readability, please place any comments or questions pertaining to the hold below rather than within the body of the review. Thank you!

  • I've made the changes I think were necessary, and I removed the image that lacked a license. Let me know what you think, VanTucky 00:37, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I think you've done great, but then I'm the nominator. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 03:30, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Obviously all the issues I brought up in the review have been dealt with, so to the best of my knowledge the article meets the GA standard. Congratulations! VanTucky 04:02, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for all your work. Steve Dufour (talk) 15:05, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Some name and etymology issues[edit]

According to the Oxford Dictionary of American English, musquash is an "archaic" term, and comes from the Abenaki language, not Cree.

Also there's no reason to give the French name in an English Wikipedia article (unless it has some interesting cultural implication in translation).

Changes made to reflect this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:59, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Range Map[edit]

The article states introduces in South America - not shown on map? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:05, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

One of the books I used as a source mentioned that they were introduced in southern South America. The map predates that information in the article. I guess someone could add a dab of color to the map, if you feel like it. Steve Dufour (talk) 17:38, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I put a note in the map's caption. I am confident that the muskrats are still there. It is very hard to get rid of them. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 17:41, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

No references?[edit]

I added a reference to this article, then noticed that there are no other references for this article. There are a lot of items listed under References, but they are really See Also type resources since they do not seem to be directly related to any statement in the text. This entire article needs properly inserted references to make it easier to verify content. Bob98133 (talk) 13:06, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

I note in particular that there seems to be no reference for the statement that they were introduced to Europe (and spread from there to Asia) at the beginning of the 20th Century. (talk) 19:16, 11 April 2014 (UTC)Terry Thorgaard (talk) 19:17, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Raised importance rating[edit]

[1] An attempt is made to gauge the probability of the average reader of Wikipedia needing to look up the topic (and thus the immediate need to have a suitably well-written article on it). Topics which may seem obscure to a Western audience—but which are of high notability in other places—should still be highly rated.[2]SriMesh | talk 03:44, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Black muskrats[edit]

I have trapped black muskrats in Virginia and New Jersey and wrote that black muskrats exist, yet some one keeps erasing my great contribution to this article and Wikipedia will be notified —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:22, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

See WP:OR. You will need an acceptible reference to include that info in the article. Bob98133 (talk) 14:46, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
I took off your original research but added the word "black" to the description of its colors. Does anyone doubt that there are black muskrats? Steve Dufour (talk) 14:48, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Species epithet gender[edit]

i'm guessing that Ondatra zibethicus is the name given in MSW3? (i don't have a copy, so i have to ask.) grammar-wise, as the species name describes the genus name, the gender of the words should agree, i.e., either both inflected -a or -us but not -a/-us. so: Ondatra zibethica? is there a consensus on this usage? discuss. ;) -- Μετανοιδ (talk, email) 02:21, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

It is: [3]. I'm not sure what's going on here. Could Ondatra be a masculine word ending in -a like agricola? --Aranae (talk) 03:36, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

it's a definite possibility, as they say. :) -- Μετανοιδ (talk, email) 03:49, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

A rather belated reply, but... I checked Palmer's Index generum mammalium (1904) and he says that Ondatra is an "Indian name for the muskrat of North America" (p. 475). I would think that loanwords in Latin ending on -a would normally be considered feminine, but in this case, apparently not. Ucucha 14:33, 31 August 2010 (UTC)


Would anyone, by any chance be able to address comments at Wikipedia:Graphic Lab/Illustration workshop#Muskrat Range? I've requested a vector version be made of the range map, File:Verbreitungsgebiet Bisamratten.jpg, but the main concern was regarding the accuracy of the information being represented. Thanks, Connormah (talk) 13:15, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

The information about them being introduced to southern South America and doing well there is from Walker's Mammals of the World, if that is a question. I will google for more info. Steve Dufour (talk) 13:38, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
This page has info and links to articles in Spanish: (Look down the page a ways.) Steve Dufour (talk) 13:45, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
BTW I googled "Argentina muskrat", very easy. Steve Dufour (talk) 14:01, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Steve - so Argentina should be included as well? Could you sum it all up on the graphics lab page, just in case I make an interpretation mistake? Connormah (talk) 14:10, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
I also commented on the graphic lab page. Ucucha 14:33, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Muskrat/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

==B Class== I gave this article a B rating, mainly because the article I copied the tag from was B rated. I plan to work on the article very soon, maybe today, to improve it. Steve Dufour 19:21, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 19:21, 12 November 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 00:40, 30 April 2016 (UTC)