Photo: Muskrat lingers amid the blossoms

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Muskrats have been dealt a crummy hand – they're seen as destructive and thus not well tolerated, their fur has made them a valuable target for trappers throughout history, and the poor things are named "muskrats" ... bringing to mind little more than a smelly rodent.

And now a message from the (unofficial) Muskrat Appreciation Society. Look at how cute they are! Look at those little feet! Muskrats are unique and wonderful. They are excellent swimmers and can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes at a time. They can swim forwards and backwards! And importantly, muskrats play important roles in certain ecosystems in creating flat nesting areas for birds.

With that in mind, thank you to photographer Tony LePrieur for helping to advance the cause of the muskrat with this lovely photo of a muskrat doing muskrat things in Calgary's Carburn Park. Go, muskrats!

Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on flickr and add your pictures to the group.

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