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Order - Carnivora
Family - Canidae
Common Names -
Coyote, Brush Wolf, Prairie Wolf

Coyote Description

Coyotes are wild canines, with dog or wolf-like features. Weights are slightly heavier for males, with average weights in the western states of about 30 pounds for males versus 25 pounds for females.

A coyote immigration has impacted eastern states since the early 1950's and the eastern coyote is now recognized as a true breeding subspecies of coyote. The eastern coyotes do attain larger body weights than western coyotes, and this may reflect hereditary traits as a result of cross breeding between northern coyotes and eastern timber wolves. Weights of over 60 pounds have been recorded for some eastern coyote males, although the majority weigh between 30-35 pounds.

Coyotes have 42 teeth including four long incisor teeth. Eyes are yellow or amber, with round, black pupils which indicate that coyotes were probably daytime hunters before man began persecuting the species in earnest.

Guard hairs on a coyote pelt are about 3 inches long on the back, and 5 inches long in a patch between the shoulders known as the "mane" or "hackles". Coloration varies with individuals and sections, with most coyotes being mottled greys with lighter colored bellies. Brownish and reddish colors also occur commonly in areas, and melanism or black colors occur more rarely.

Coyote Range
-for northeastern North America (click on map for larger image)


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