Coyote

Coyote

COMMON NAME: Coyote
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Canis latrans

DESCRIPTION:
The most vocal of all North American wild mammals, this opportunistic hunter and scavenger is steadily increasing in number through rapid adaptation to human encroachment and fast reproductive rate. The coyote looks similar to a large dog, weighing 25-33 pounds. It is 36-48″ long with a 11-16″ tail. Its coat is greyish-brown to yellowish-grey in color with a white throat and belly and a bushy, black-tipped tail.

LIFE HISTORY:
Mating season ranges from January to March. Gestation lasts for 60-63 days and 6-7 pups are born in the spring. The pups are blind, limp-eared and pug-nosed at birth. Their eyes open after 10 days and they are weaned after 35 days. Males will leave the pack after 6-9 months, but females are likely to stay with the family. The coyote reaches sexual maturity after one year.

ECOLOGY:
Found throughout most of North America, the coyote is common in open sagebrush areas, but has adapted to living in urban areas, as well. They have expanded their range due to the decreasing population of their larger competitor, the wolf.

Classified as a carnivore, the coyote will eat pretty much anything. 98% of its diet is meat from rodents, reptiles, insects and carrion. The other 2% is made up of fruits and berries.To catch their prey, coyotes will pounce with all of their legs held stiff. The coyote is the dominant wild animal in the food chain. Its main enemy is man.

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