Water voles are often mistakenly called water rats, but they are only distantly related to rats. Water voles have a chubby face with a blunt nose and short furry ears almost hidden by long fur.

Daily Life

The water vole is active by day and night, and spends most of its time eating. It moves through grasses, sedges, willow shoots and other waterside plants, grasping the stems in its forepaws, tearing at them and biting out the best parts. A trail of discarded fragments and stumps is left behind.

The water vole is, of course, a very good swimmer, paddling with all four legs, blunt nose held clear of the water. Its short dense undercoat, covered by the long outer fur, keeps the vole warm and dry.

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