Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|75cm - 90cm (30in - 35in)|
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
|7kg - 21kg (15lbs - 46lbs)|
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
|10 - 15 years|
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Brown, Grey, Tan|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Forests, plains and deserts|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Rabbit, Mice, Deer|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Human, Bears, Wolves|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Pointed ears and nose and a long, bushy tail|
Map of North America
Coyotes (prairie wolf) are native to North and Central America although they are believed to have split off from the European grey wolf. They are a species in their own right, differing from wolves in vocalization patterns, ecology, pack structure. The coyote's scientific name, Canis latrans actually means barking dog.
Coyotes grow up to about 90cm in length, which is a similar size to a medium dog. The northern subspecies of coyote generally grows bigger than the southern subspecies of coyote. The Eastern coyote is the largest of all and has been found to be the result of a few remnant wolves mating with incoming coyotes in the northeastern states of the USA.
The coyote is able to reach sprinting speeds of around 40 mph which the coyote is able to obtain for extended periods of time. The coyote can also jump to heights of up to 4m!
There are 19 different subspecies of recognised coyote with only 3 of these coyote subspecies found in central America. The remaining 16 subspecies of coyote can be found distributed throughout Mexico, Canada and the USA.
Historically the coyote has generally been nocturnal but now can often be seen during the day in areas where they are not persecuted by humans. In areas where they are heavily hunted and trapped they tend to remain nocturnal. Coyotes adapt very well to suburban life and can often be seen drinking out of swimming pools.
The coyote tends to reside in a burrow when it's not looking for food and the coyote is more than capable of digging the burrow itself. The coyote is intelligent enough to find and inhabit an empty badger burrow if at all possible. This becomes the centre of the coyote's territory which can extend to 19 km around the den. The size of the territory depends on how much food is available. Coyotes tend to associate in mated pairs, though in areas where large prey live a loose pack structure is observable. They are considerably less social than wolves and their threat displays are much more primitive. They arch their backs and gape their jaws and do not have the repertoire of facial expression the more social wolf has. The colouring of the coyote varies considerably according to location. In the northernmost parts of its range coyotes can be pale to almost white in colour. In the west, they tend to be a rich reddish hue with black markings. In the plains states, they are plain greyish brown. The occasional black coyote is seen in the great plains states and in the eastern states; those may actually be the result of hybridization with wolves. It would take DNA analysis to be sure.
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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 7th November 2019
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