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Coyote

Classification
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Canis
  • Species: latrans
Fun Fact

The coyote is often used in Native American and Meso-American folklore. The Aztecs respected the animal for its military might. Native Americans in the southwestern United States and Mexico told stories of how the coyote was a trickster who rebels against social convention, often being able to change form from coyote to man.

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About Coyotes

Coyotes are canines closely related to gray wolves. They are much smaller than wolves, only reaching a maximum of about 50 pounds. Much like their wolf cousins they can run up to 40 miles per hour but prefer to keep a slower steady pace which they can maintain for several hours.

They live in very tight family groups. Unlike their wolf cousins they often hunt alone. In spring the mother coyote dens and will have a litter of 3 to 12 pups in April or early May. Coyotes will make their dens in rocky crevices or the dens of other animals, they do not usually dig their own. Both the parents protect and feed the young. The pups are able to hunt on their own by that fall.

Coyotes in the Wild

Habitat

They are highly adaptable animals and have been successful in a wide range of habitats such as forests, deserts, swamps and even suburban settings.

Location

Most of Central and North America

Diet

They are opportunistic omnivores, which means they will eat just about anything they can get hold of, from berries and various furry animals to our trash.

Population Status

Due to their highly adaptable nature, IUCN lists the coyote as “least concern.”

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