Coyote         Canis latrans

Type of Animal:

Suburbs, rural areas, urban areas, desert, prairie, grassland, foothills, forests, mountains, woodland, sagebrush-steppe, oak savanna, meadows, plains, swamps, valleys

N. America, Mexico & much of C. America

Looks like wolf but smaller, grayish brown/yellowish gray upper pelt, white throat/belly, tawny/gray underfur on back w/ black-tipped tail, somewhat black dorsal stripe, black nose w/ pointy ears.

Rabbits, hares, pikas, pigs, foxes, snakes, goats, sheep, raccoons, coatis, ringtails, domestic alpacas/llamas, rodents, deer, peccaries, lizards, refuse, carrion, domestic dogs, domestic/feral cats, birds, fruit, veggies, bobcats, lynxes, pet food, pronghorn, cattle, bison calves, elk, moose, skunks, armadillos, otters, opossums, crustaceans, prickly pear cactus, grasses, insects, berries, wolf pups, snails, fish, scorpions, spiders, amphibians, domestic foals, badgers, weasels, turtles, tortoises, eggs, young crocodilians, sea lion pups, centipedes. Have been few rare cases of eating human children.

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & wildlife centers

Family packs of breeding pair w/ 1-2 litters of pups, each litter normally 6 pups, some packs contain 1-3 subordinates that are siblings of alpha pair (males being related to alpha male & females being related to alpha female). Once thought to be solitary, since they hunt smaller prey alone. Larger prey hunted as pair or pack. Some packs have unrelated individuals & sibling packs also occur.

Additional Info:


Male-21-41 lbs
Female-15-32 lbs
Young-5-6 lbs

2 months

Male-1.6 ft
Female-1.25 ft

Body Length:
Male-3.94 ft
Female-3.8 ft

Life Span: 
10-15 years

Tail Length:
1-1.3 ft

Main predators are crocodilians, wolves, cougars/pumas/mountain lions, & golden eagles. Great horned owls prey on young.

Often persecuted as livestock/pet killers & trapped for fur.

They’re known to be very adaptable.

Also called “Prairie Wolf” or “American Jackal.”

Howls meant to designate territory.

Like other canines, they mark territory w/ urine.

Have extremely keen sense of smell.

Sexually mature at 1 year old. Usually start breeding at 2 years old.

Fun Fact(s):
Known to be excellent swimmers.

They can breed w/ domestic dogs creating coydogs & have hybridized w/ wolves.

They can run at almost 40 mph & jump an 8 ft fence.

In Native American mythology, the coyote is seen as a trickster.

Rather shy in some areas but can be aggressive where used to people.

Coyote individuals/pairs/packs have been known to team up w/ single badgers when hunting small mammals.

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