Water rat - Hydromys chrysogaster
Don't think of house rats when you hear "water rat" - it is a very different
Australia's native water rat is a mammal living in fresh water and spends most of its day in creek-bank burrows, coming out at night to feed on yabbies, shellfish, fish, plants, insects.
Well adapted to their watery world, water rats have a streamlined body, webbed hind paws and a flat, furry white tipped tail used as a rudder. Glossy fur protects them from the cold. They hunt fiercely, favouring tree-roots as regular feeding spots.
Water rats live on the banks
of freshwater lakes, streams and urban rivers, building a grass-lined nest at
the entrance to their burrow.
They can sometimes be spotted feeding in the early morning and late afternoon or glimpsed swimming on the surface of lakes or rivers at these times.
Although breeding can occur throughout the year, young are typically born from September through January - a litter usually consists of 3-4 young.
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