Coyote Facts

A Few Coyote Facts To Keep You Well-Informed

A sampling of coyote facts reveals an animal that, in terms of its ability to adapt and survive, excels above most others. In a time where many animals species are threatened with extinction, protected as endangered species, or simply do not exist in large numbers naturally, the coyote population seems to be keeping pace with the human population in the sense it is continually increasing.

Although extensively hunted, and regarded in many quarters as a pest, and a danger to livestock, simple coyote facts will tell you that this animal has a knack for survival. Originally confined to the Pacific northwestern part of the United States and a few other western states as well, human encroachment has caused the coyote to expand its range, which now covers most of the North American continent. The coyote can be found from Alaska to New England and the Canadian Maritime Provinces, and south all the way to Panama. The Panama Canal is probably not a barrier that would keep the coyote from venturing into South America since the coyote is an excellent swimmer.

The coyote is a member of the Canis family, the other species being the European and Eurasian jackals, the Red Wolf and Grey Wolf, (C. lupus and C. rufus, respectively), and the domestic dog. Coyotes have been known to mate with both dogs and wolves, though the Gray Wolf is its main predator. Like other members of the Canis family, coyotes are born blind, depending on their mother for the first weeks and months of their lives. The coyote has quite an extensive vocabulary, ranging from growls to howls, high-pitched yips, barks, huffing, and yelps.

Enter Wiley Coyote - Wiley Coyote of Roadrunner fame is a typical coyote in name only. The mistake-prone, accident-prone, and not-quite-as-clever-as-he-thinks-he-is cartoon character is often lucky to survive to the next cartoon. The real life animal however is indeed very clever, evasive, and extremely adaptable. The coyote can be from the deserts of Arizona, the plains of Kansas, the mountains of Washington, and the streets of Los Angeles. Perhaps more than any other animal, the coyote has shown an ability to adapt to its surroundings. Part of the reason, besides being very clever, is the coyote's appetite, which may consist of a rabbit or mouse for one meal, and the contents of a dumpster for the next. Coyote facts will tell you that the coyote feeds mostly on small rodents, like mice and rabbits, and this is true, but the coyote also will eat vegetation, fruit, fish and pizza. In other words, the coyote is an opportunistic feeder.

Three Or More Equals A Pack - Though normally a lone hunter, coyotes will often hunt in packs during the fall and winter or where food is scarce. They at times endanger livestock, though even in packs would not likely attack large animals like cows or horses, but could attack colts or calves, and certainly goats and sheep. More likely though, a coyote pack would have deer in their sights. Adult humans generally have nothing to fear from the coyotes, though infants could be in some danger. A fully grown coyote is roughly the size of a Collie dog, and has the same general conformation. The coyote is smaller than a wolf, although from a distance will often resemble a wolf.

There are many more coyote facts of interest. They can run fast and jump high, they have a life span of 15 years in the wild, though most pups don't survive their first year. They are digitigrade, meaning they walk and run on their toes, not flatfooted as most animals do. Each new set of coyote facts seems to be more unusual and interesting than the last.