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The coyote (US: /kaɪˈoʊtiː/ or /ˈkaɪ.oʊt/, UK: /kɔɪˈjoʊteɪ/ or /kɔɪˈjoʊt/;[2] Canis latrans), also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America,

Coyote
220px-Coyote by Rebecca Richardson

Origin

North and central America

Habitat

Forest, Desert, and plains

Diet

They primarily eat small mammals, such as voles, prairie dogs, eastern cottontails, ground squirrels, and mice, though they will eat birds, snakes, lizards, deer, javelina, and livestock, as well as large insects and other large invertebrates.

Combat status

Defeated by the African Wild dog

ranging from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States and Canada. It occurs as far north as Alaska and all but the northernmost portions of Canada.[3]

There are currently 19 recognized subspecies, with 16 in Canada, Mexico and the United States, and 3 in Central America.[4] Unlike its cousin the gray wolf, which is Eurasian in origin, evolutionary theory suggests the coyote evolved in North America during the Pleistocene epoch 1.81 million years ago[5] alongside the Dire Wolf.[6] Unlike the wolf, the coyote's range has expanded in the wake of human civilization, and coyotes readily reproduce in metropolitan areas


DescriptionEdit

The color of the coyote's pelt varies from grayish-brown to yellowish-gray on the upper parts, while the throat and belly tend to have a buff or white color. The forelegs, sides of the head, muzzle and paws are reddish-brown. The back has tawny-colored underfur and long, black-tipped guard hairs that form a black dorsal stripe and a dark cross on the shoulder area. The black-tipped tail has a scent gland located on its dorsal base. Coyotes shed once a year, beginning in May with light hair loss, ending in July after heavy shedding. The ears are proportionately large in relation to the head, while the feet are relatively small in relation to the rest of the body.[3] Certain experts have noted the shape of a domestic dog's brain case is closer to the coyote's in shape than that of a wolf's. Mountain-dwelling coyotes tend to be dark-furred, while desert coyotes tend to be more light brown in color.[4]

Coyotes typically grow to 30–34 in (76–86 cm) in length, not counting a tail of 12–16 in (30–41 cm), stand about 23–26 in (58–66 cm) at the shoulder and, on average, weigh from 15–46 lb (6.8–21 kg).[3][12] Northern coyotes are typically larger than southern subspecies, with the largest coyotes on record weighing 74.75 pounds (33.91 kg) and measuring 1.75 m (5.7 ft) in total length.[13][14]

The coyote's dental formula is I 3/3, C 1/1, Pm 4/4, M usually 2/2, occasionally 3/3, 3/2, or 2/3 × 2 = 40, 44, or 42[15] Normal spacing between the upper canine teeth is 29–35 millimetres (1.1–1.4 in) and 25–32 millimetres (0.98–1.3 in) between the lower canine teeth.[16]

The upper frequency limit of hearing for coyotes is 80 kHz, compared to the 60 kHz of domestic dogs.[17] Compared to wolves, and similar to domestic dogs, coyotes have a higher density of sweat glands on their paw pads. This trait, however, is absent in the large New England coyotes, which are thought to have some wolf ancestry.[18]

During pursuit, a coyote may reach speeds up to 43 mph (69 km/h),[19] and can jump a distance of over 13 ft (4 m).

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