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Renowned for its piercing nocturnal howl, the coyote (Canis latrans), also called the prairie wolf or American jackal, is one of North America’s most adaptable and resourceful predators. This species is often confused with the red and grey wolf and the domestic dog, and identification can be further confounded by the fact that the coyote can breed and produce fertile hybrids with these species. Nevertheless, the ‘pure’ coyote can be distinguished by its generally smaller size, narrower muzzle, proportionately longer ears, and more slender build. Due to bands of colour on the hairs, the coat is typically grizzled greyish-buff, becoming yellowish on the outer ears, legs and feet, while the underparts are grey or white. Populations from the northern parts of the range generally have coarser, longer fur which may be greyish black on the upper body, while those found in desert regions have shorter, more yellowish coats. Some individuals may also have a rufous tinge, and in rare cases, entirely black animals can occur. Coyotes have been known to mutually assist American badgers in hunting burrowing rodents, the coyotes using their sense of smell for detection and the badger excavating the prey from burrows. Coyotes are not fussy eaters and will go for fruit, fish, refuse and mammals large and small - even domestic dogs and cats!

Coyote Subspecies



See Also