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When I was about 13 years old I was hunting in a small woods by our creek with my Sheridan pellet rifle and came across a strange animal. It looked exactly like the brownish orange fox squirrels in eastern Nebraska but had a long, strait hairless tail like a muskrat. I had apparently surprised it from a fairly close distance and it ran to a tree and tried to climb it but couldn't. I thought that I could catch it as it did not appear to be able to run very fast so I set down the pellet rifle and started chasing it. I remember it had a bloody nose, which I thought was from overexertion. It had a little more endurance than I did and eventually got away, not up a tree, but into some brush. At that point I wished I had just shot it. A month or so later while driving a tractor, I saw a squirrel up in a tree with a tail that did not have much hair on it. However, the tail was not completely hairless like that on the animal I chased. Also its tail was not strait but curved more like a normal squirrel. I always thought these two were siblings and were the products of a squirrel mating with a muskrat. Would that be possible? Or was it just a squirrel with a strait, hairless tail that could not climb a tree? And by the way, I did once catch a muskrat by hand. I was sitting along a very shallow creek and a muskrat was walking up the creek. I knew muskrats would eat meat if they could so I sat still and made a squeeking noise with my lips, like a preditor call. The muskrat came to within a few feet of me and then I chased it. It made it to the creek but the water was so shallow it had to run instead of swim and I caught it by the tail. I figured I was probably lucky to not have gotten bitten and let it go.
 

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This is an interesting question. I'm surprised that you haven't gotten some responses. While species and subspecies don't usually mate and normally reproduce "after their own kind," there are some interesting things that happen.

Everyone knows about asses/donkeys and horses producing mules. A jack over a mare produces a mule. A horse over a jenny produces a hinny. The two are different. Both are infertile because either the horse or the donkey has one more pair of chromosomes than the other. I've forgotten which one has more. When the mule or hinny is produced, it has an extra chromosome that is not paired with another, and this interferes with the production of the chromosome content of the egg or sperm cell. I say this to say this: whether two different sub-species of rodent, like the squirrel and the muskrat, could cross probably depends on their chromosomes. And the chromsomes of squirrels and muskrats is something that I haven't read up on.

You might also consider the possibility that the animals that you saw were some variety of rat. Rats are very similar to squirrels.

Without looking into the matter, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that a horny squirrel and a sexy muskrat might not have done it.

Tigers and Lions will mate in captivity--if not in the wild.

BTW, can muskrats not climb trees? Something I never thought about.
 

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Sounds like a rat, or maybe a squirrel that had mange and no hair on its tail. I seriosly doubt that a squirrel and muskrat could produce ofspring, they are just too different of animals.
 

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The second one, that is, the one up in the tree pretty much looked like a squirrel with a tail with mange. However, the first one had a completely bare tail that appeared well formed and strait. Then it seemed to have the instinct to want to climb a tree to escape, but couldn't get up the tree. I would agree that a squirrel and muskrat would seem too distantly related to mate and have offspring, but the very strait, bare tail and not being able to climb a tree puzzles me. Thirteen-line ground squirrels live in that area and at that time there were a small number of fairly large grey colored ground squirrels, maybe Franklins. If a fox squirrel and a grey ground squirrel crossed I think the body may not look much different than the fox squirrel, but the grey ground squirrels had fairly hairy tails. Its body looked just like a fox squirrel, not at all like that of a rat and the tail looked just like that of a muskrat. Anyway, it was a strange animal.
 

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IOWA said:
When I was about 13 years old I was hunting in a small woods by our creek with my Sheridan pellet rifle and came across a strange animal. It looked exactly like the brownish orange fox squirrels in eastern Nebraska but had a long, strait hairless tail like a muskrat. I had apparently surprised it from a fairly close distance and it ran to a tree and tried to climb it but couldn't. I thought that I could catch it as it did not appear to be able to run very fast so I set down the pellet rifle and started chasing it. I remember it had a bloody nose, which I thought was from overexertion. It had a little more endurance than I did and eventually got away, not up a tree, but into some brush. At that point I wished I had just shot it. A month or so later while driving a tractor, I saw a squirrel up in a tree with a tail that did not have much hair on it. However, the tail was not completely hairless like that on the animal I chased. Also its tail was not strait but curved more like a normal squirrel. I always thought these two were siblings and were the products of a squirrel mating with a muskrat. Would that be possible? Or was it just a squirrel with a strait, hairless tail that could not climb a tree? And by the way, I did once catch a muskrat by hand. I was sitting along a very shallow creek and a muskrat was walking up the creek. I knew muskrats would eat meat if they could so I sat still and made a squeeking noise with my lips, like a preditor call. The muskrat came to within a few feet of me and then I chased it. It made it to the creek but the water was so shallow it had to run instead of swim and I caught it by the tail. I figured I was probably lucky to not have gotten bitten and let it go.
Could it have been an nutria
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutria
 

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It definitely was not a nutria. Its body was the same size and shape as a fox squirrel. It appears to me that a nutria's body is about like that of a small beaver, and I think that nutria live only in the southern states.
 
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