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The Coyote

The following information is provided as an informational resource. Feel free to browse these pages as you wish. However, we are not experts so if you have specific questions or problems pertaining to these wild animals you should contact local authorities.

The Coyote is a member of the dog family. In size and shape the Coyote is like a medium-sized Collie dog, but its tail is round and bushy and is carried straight out below the level of its back.

Coyotes found in low deserts and valleys weigh about 20 pounds, less than half of their mountain kin, who can weigh up to 50 pounds. Desert Coyotes are light gray or tan with a black tip on the tail.

Coyotes of high elevations have fur that is darker, thicker and longer; the under parts are nearly white, with some specimens having a white tip on the tail. In winter the coats of mountain Coyotes become long and silky, and trappers hunt them for their fur.

Related Species
The Coyote is one of 8 species of the genus Canis. Four of these are jackals of Europe, Africa & Asia. Other members of the genus include the Gray Wolf (C. lupus), the Red Wolf (C. rufus) and all the breeds of the domestic dog (C. familiaris).

Coyote Cautions
Coyote Habitat
Coyote Behavior
Coyote Conservation
Coyote Physical Appearance

Vocalization
The Coyote is one of the few wild animals whose vocalizations are commonly heard. At night Coyotes both howl (a high quavering cry) and emit a series of short, high-pitched yips. Sometimes, when it is first heard, the listener may experience a tingling fear of primitive danger, but to the seasoned outdoorsman, the howl of the Coyote is truly a song of the West.

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Physical Appearance

Tail
The Coyote's tail is used in threat displays. It becomes bush and is held horizontally when the Coyote displays aggression.

Ears
The Coyote's hearing is very acute and is used for detecting prey and avoiding danger. Movement and position of the ears is used to communicate mood and rank.

Nose
The Coyote's sense of smell is highly developed and is used to detect prey and carrion. It is also used to detect the scent left by other Coyotes as territorial markers.

Feet
The Coyote has 5 digits on the forefeet, including the dewclaw (remnants 5th digit) and 4 digits on the hindfeet. the Coyote is digitigrade meaning it walks with only its toes touching the ground.