coyote


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coyote

(kī`ōt, kīō`tē) or

prairie wolf,

small, swift wolfwolf,
carnivorous mammal of the genus Canis in the dog family. Once distributed over most of the Northern Hemisphere, wild wolves are now confined to the wilder parts of a reduced range.
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, Canis latrans, native to W North America. Historically found in deserts, prairies, open woodlands, and brush country, it is increasingly colonizing urban habitats; it is also called brush wolf.

The coyote resembles a medium-sized dog, with a narrow, pointed face, long, thick, tawny fur and a black-tipped bushy tail. Adult males have a head and body length of about 35 in. (89 cm), with a 14-in. (36-cm) tail; they stand 21 in. (53 cm) at the shoulder and usually weigh about 30 lb (14 kg). The cry of the coyote, heard in the early evening, is a series of high-pitched yelps. Coyotes live in pairs, and both parents care for the young; they make their dens in roots of trees, rock crevices, or in ground burrows made by other animals. They are largely nocturnal, but are also seen in the day, and are extremely wary of humans.

They hunt alone, in pairs, or when hunting larger prey in small groups. Omnivorous feeders, they prey on a variety of small animals, sometimes cooperating to attack larger mammals; they also eat plant matter, carrion, and garbage. They can maintain a speed of 35 mi (56 km) per hour while chasing prey. Coyotes are responsible for destroying some domestic livestock, but they are valuable scavengers and destroyers of rodents.

There has almost always been a bounty on coyotes somewhere in the United States, and many thousands are killed each year. Despite this, coyotes have not been reduced in number, and their range has actually increased in the past century, due in part to the fact that many formerly forested areas now more closely resemble the plains and also that the eradication of top-level predators, such as wolves and mountain lions, has left an open ecological niche. Common in the central and W United States, they range N to Alaska, S to Central America, and throughout much of E North America; they have even moved into such urban areas New York City, Chicago, and Toronto. The eastern coyote is generally larger than those in the West as a result of having interbred with wolves; such hybrids are sometimes called coywolves.

The coyote is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Canidae.

Bibliography

See W. Grady, The Nature of Coyotes (1995).

Coyote

 

(Canis latrans) a predatory mammal of the family Canidae. Body length, approximately 90 cm; tail length, approximately 30 cm; weight, up to 13 kg. The fur is brown with specks of black and gray. The species is found in the New World from Alaska to Central America. Coyotes inhabit open spaces and live in pairs. Mating occurs in January. The gestation period is between 60 and 65 days; the female bears five to ten pups in a burrow. Hares, rodents, and carrion are the coyote’s principal food; it rarely attacks sheep or goats. Because the coyote adapts well to changes in its habitat, its range is expanding.

coyote

[′kī‚ōd·ē]
(vertebrate zoology)
Canis latrans. A small wolf native to western North America but found as far eastward as New York State. Also known as prairie wolf.

coyote

foiled in attempts to enjoy prey. [Am. Ind. Folklore: Mercatante, 77–78]

coyote

1. a predatory canine mammal, Canis latrans, related to but smaller than the wolf, roaming the deserts and prairies of North America
2. (in American Indian legends of the West) a trickster and culture hero represented as a man or as an animal
References in periodicals archive ?
I've had an all-black coyote zipping through my yard,'' she said.
Your first step is to determine if you're dealing with a high coyote density or an average population.
Urban deer problems will lead to urban coyote problems, and once a pet or child gets mauled or killed by a coyote, maybe the antis will wake up to the concept of predator control?
Have to thank my New York roots for twenty great years," gushed Lovell as she reminisced about the early years of the Coyote Ugly Saloon.
12 report to the county's Corporate Development Committee, Lynn Dale, Manager of Property, Legal and Enforcement Services, noted that the Ministry of Natural Resources imposed restrictions on trappers that would interfere with prompt coyote kills.
Gehrt thinks the coyote is proof that larger carnivores can penetrate the urban landscape, following the path of smaller animals like foxes, skunks and raccoons.
A horrified Hirsch contacted Project Coyote for assistance.
Of those respondents that said they only chased-away coyotes (and did not respond with additional choices from Question 8; When you have encountered a coyote in Tucson, how have you typically reacted?
Within each county, the time between the first identification of RRV in an animal and finding a rabid coyote within that county ranged from 558 to 4,857 days; median was 2,799 days.
Far more unusual is the case reported last Wednesday of a man napping on the lawns of Griffith Park near Travel Town who reported he woke up to find a coyote nibbling on his foot, perhaps wanting a handout.
The coyote has no idea if they are going after a wild prairie dog or a domestic animal.