Coyote, the prominent but relatively new member of the Canidae family, is mainly considered a pest and a nuisance for fair and reasonable reasons. However, this wild animal has a few good sides if one looks and probes closely. And both the positives and negatives make it a creature very interesting and worth knowing in detail.
So, to introduce you to coyotes better, we are here to present you with some info related to coyotes. Interesting facts about coyotes, the topic itself brings us to a certain number, and we have 25 for you. That seems to be a lot. Hence, let’s talk about all the interesting facts that we have to share about coyotes with you without further ado.
The 25 Interesting Facts About Coyotes
Fact #1 – The Term Coyote
Coyote is a Mexican Spanish term taken from the indigenous Nahuatl word Coyotl, and its scientific name Canis latrans means barking dog. It’s a nocturnal animal that mostly prey and hunts at night.
2 – The Dimension
An adult coyote can be up to 37 inches long and 16 inches tall. It weighs about 35-40 pounds at max.
3 – A Wolf or Not
They look similar to dogs and foxes and are considered a close relative of the wolves. The only thing that makes these predators not a wolf in appearance is their small size.
4 – An All-Rounder Mammal
This predator can have a long walk, almost 15km in a single day. It can run fast, even faster than a wolf or a dog, approximately at a speed of 56-69 km per hour. A coyote can swim too, about 0.8 km with ease making it equally dangerous for your ducks, geese, and fishes in the water body. To make it almost an invincible nuisance for all the domestic animals, large, small, flying, swimming, as it can jump too, as high as 13 feet.
5 – Carni, Omni, Or Scavenger
Coyotes are not only carnivores and omnivores; they are scavengers too. In easy words, coyotes eat meat and plant materials both. Not just fresh meat and freshly fallen ripe fruits from the trees, they eat rotten meat and discarded items. Hence the varied categorizing. So, coyotes eat anything and everything, earning the tag of opportunistic feeders with ease.
6 – Food Consuming Percentage
Coyotes prefer fresh meat, and almost 80-90% of their food is the meat of different rodents and other small animals they hunt and kill. The meat could be very well rotten as well found on the roadside or anywhere in the open spaces in the form of carrion. Only 10-20% of its food is plant materials, vegetables, and fruits.
7 – Nuisance or A Pest Control
Though considered a trouble for people living peacefully and their possessions, coyotes can be excellent pest control. Its prime food is rodents like rats, mice, and squirrels. Moreover, it eats insects, snakes, and different reptiles too. So, anyone who requires a thorough cleaning around by getting rid of all the pests can try the coyote pest control, and in no time, there will be no nuisance attacking one’s possession and pets.
However, the only condition is not to let the pest control turn into a bigger pest. Because if somehow a coyote or a pack gets friendly to the people living around them, they will turn into the biggest and the deadliest pain of all.
8 – Balance in the Ecosystem
By killing and eating the rodents, basically controlling the pest, coyotes play a crucial role in balancing the ecosystem. It doesn’t let the crop-destroying rodents increase by eating them in great numbers. Hence they do not tend to enter human territory as much as they would if not killed by the coyotes. After all, rodents are the primary and most common food source for coyotes.
9 – Monogamous
Unlike other animals, coyotes follow the monogamous rule very strictly. Once a coyote finds its mate, that is it for it till it dies. After that, none takes a new partner. If that was not enough, the coyote pair takes care of their pups together, showing extreme unity, at least for a specific period.
10 – A Loner or A Pack Member
Coyote, most of the time, hunts alone, at most with a companion. However, when hunting for large animals like deer, bear, and bison, coyotes postulate the danger and difficulties very well. So, whenever it’s a large prey, they will hunt it in a pack.
11 – Lifespan
In the wild and open spaces, without any supervision and supply of food from time to time, a coyote can survive 7-8 years at best. The lifespan might barely expand from a decade to a decade and a half in safer conditions. But in captivity or in a zoo, where a coyote remains under strict observation and is supplied enough food and has no wild animals to prey on it risking its life, the lifespan doubles up. In captivity, a coyote can live up to 20-21 years.
12 – Pups
A coyote can have six pups on average in a litter. However, the number always varies, and it could sometimes be just one pup for a mother coyote or 18-20 in some cases.
13 – Wild
Coyotes enjoy hunting like any other predator. They know how to make use of their sharp teeth and fast moves. Hence, the collision of large dogs and coyotes is often noticed even though the coyotes would be way smaller in size between the two. And the large dogs are not safe for that very reason because, in most cases, due to the coyote’s aggressive, predatory nature, the large dog, irrespective of its size, will fail to win against the coyote.
14 – Vision
Though coyotes are born blind, yet with time they develop an excellent vision. The vision is so sharp that it covers around 260 degrees. That digit is way higher than a cat which is also known to have an unmatched peripheral vision. To make you understand better, a human sees only 180 degrees and a coyote’s 260-degree vision makes its vision seven times better and clearer in the dark.
15 – Strong Nose
Not just excellent vision, coyotes give a tough competition to dogs in sensing the smell of humans and different animals. It can smell things from a far distance of about 350 yards.
16 – Hearing Ability
Make a light squeak, and a coyote will easily hear it from 150 yards away. This unparalleled hearing ability, along with the smelling and great vision, makes it a sharp and fast predator.
17 – Loses Fear Easily
Coyotes fear humans but can be easily tamed by the same. That is why they are seen getting too comfortable adjusting to city life and lose their fear and shyness in no time. Humans are very much responsible for taming them by consciously or unconsciously offering them food. Then, they notice the small pets, their favorite forage, increasing their visit near the human territory.
18 – Different Nature in Different Area
The nature of an urban coyote will be very different from a coyote living in a rural area or even a suburban location. A coyote in the wild will thus be way different too in nature. The coyotes have excellent adapting qualities. Even their food habits vary due to where they reside.
19 – Extremely Vocal
These predators can make eleven different noises and are known to be the most vocal among all the animals in their family and other mammals too. That ability helps a single or a pair of coyotes sound like a large pack when they are in danger or under attack by their predators.
20 – Hate Noises
It’s kind of an oxymoron that an animal that makes 11 different loud noises for confusing and driving away its predator’s hates noises and can be easily driven away by producing extreme noises by yelling, clapping at them or with a horn or blowing a whistle. Making loud noises in any way is the most common way to drive an intruder coyote away.
21 – Teeth
Just like dogs and wolves, coyotes have 42 teeth which include four long incisor teeth as well. The teeth are super sharp but not as much as those of the cats.
22 – A Predator, Prey to Bigger Predators
Even though coyotes are close relatives to the wolves, they are actually prey to the wolves. That is why if an area or territory notices coyote tyranny, people use wolf urine as pest control to keep the coyotes away. Other than the wolves, mountain lions and bears are considered coyotes’ natural predators.
23 – Breeding
Coyotes are among the beings which mate for life, and they are also among the beings which breed with dogs and wolves. The cross between a coyote and a dog is called a coydog. And if it’s a hybrid of wolf and coyote, then it’s called the coywolf.
24 – The Frequency of Attacks
Coyotes are considered a danger for humans, pets, and children too. However, not many incidents have happened where it is heard that a coyote took away an infant, barring one, that too, years ago. Attacks on pets and killings are pretty common. Collisions with unleashed large dogs and fatal injuries are not very uncommon too.
However, the scary part is, day by day, an increase in coyote attacks and injuries due to that is very much noticeable, especially in different areas of California.
25 – A Predator Eating Grass
If you notice a coyote grazing in an open space, like cows or sheep, don’t be weirded out. Coyotes are known to eat a variety of grass, that too in large quantities.
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As a parting note, we must admit that this creature, mostly considered a pest, has several engaging facts. Hopefully, the facts have fascinated you like the way they fascinated us.