How has this predator been able to adapt so well alongside humans?
Prior to the arrival of European settlers, coyotes primarily inhabited the central and middle portions of North America. With habitat fragmentation and the loss of larger predators, the range of coyotes increased.
Coyotes are omnivores, which means they eat just about anything, including rodents, rabbits, amphibians and reptiles, birds, eggs, insects, invertebrates, fruit and vegetative matter, deer and carrion.
Coyotes have been able to adjust their activity patterns to live alongside humans. In urban areas, they tend to be more active at night to avoid interaction with humans. Coyotes play an important role as predator to smaller mammals that humans often don’t care for.
To learn more about coyotes, visit Urban Coyote Research Project.
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Coyote fur is made of keratin, the same protein in human hair and nails. Fur is important in the regulation of a coyote’s temperature. In the winter the thick fur insulates the body and traps the heat generated by the coyote’s body for warmth. As spring arrives, the thick fur coat is shed to prevent over heating in the warm months. The coloration of a coyote’s fur coat gives it advantage during hunting. It camouflages among the foliage so that its prey is unable to see it approaching.
Why are coyotes so vocal?
The scientific name for coyote, Canis latrans, translates to “barking dog”. This name is fitting for an animal that is often described as the most vocal North American mammal. The coyote howl can be made of high-pitched howls, barks and yips. Vocalizing is part of the social cues coyotes use along with body posture. There are numerous types of vocalization including: growl, huff, woof, bark, bark-howl, whine, yelp, woo-oo-wow, lone howl, group howl, group yip-howl, whoop and yodel.
To learn more about these calls, visit What are they saying?