General Description

Extremely dense fur, black to grey above and white to orange underneath. Tail thick and dark, white at the end. Wide, webbed hind feet. Broad face with large whiskers. Body up to 39 cm long.


Water Rats feed on a variety of primarily animal foods including fish, crustaceans, shellfish and some vertebrates. They are most active at dusk, but can be active anytime of day. A swimming Water Rat can be spotted by a V-shaped ripple in the water. They have been protected since 1938; before then they were killed as a nuisance animal and hunted for their soft fur.


Widespread in permanent water bodies of Australia, New Guinea and offshore Islands.


Fresh, salt and brackish permanent water bodies.

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