Beaver and Muskrat Comparison

Yesterday morning I was standing beside a known beaver pond when a beaver swam up to its lodge and disappeared under the surface and into its underwater entrance. Within the same minute a muskrat swam in exactly the same path and did the same thing. I’ve heard that muskrat will sometimes inhabit beaver lodges and be tolerated by the beavers. There is a clip somewhere from inside a beaver lodge showing this and it could even be possible that the muskrat(s) perform some maintenance inside an active lodge. Maybe this is the reason they are tolerated? The encounter yesterday with both provided an opportunity to get some comparison pictures of these two mammals to really see the size difference.

These two photos were taken within the same minute at exactly the same distance. You can clearly see how much larger a beaver is but sometimes they can be confused as they both swim in a similar way, especially when viewed from a long ways away.
These two photos are from earlier this year and also taken at the place from the same distance on the same day. The Mallards provide a definite scale of just how much bigger beavers are. Muskrat above and beaver below.

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