Interesting Coyote Facts
Interesting Coyote Facts

33 Interesting Coyote Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published March 24, 2019Updated October 4, 2019
  • Although coyotes resemble wolves, they are two completely different species.[4]
  • Coyotes are often seen as pests, but they actually help control the population of rodents and other problematic animals.[4]
  • Within both urban and rural coyote populations, coyote parents work together to raise their pups, which helps increase survival rates.[4]
  • Coyotes can breed with both wolves and dogs. For example, a type of coyote hybrid named the eastern coyotes contain genes of both wolves and dogs and are known as "coywolves" and "coydogs."[1]
  • Coyotes are great swimmers, which has helped them colonize islands and spread their populations.[1]
  • A rare population of "snow coyotes" lives in Newfoundland. They are unique because they have genes that turn their coats snow white. Scientists believe that the gene mutation occured when a coyote mated with a golden retriever.[7]
  • Coyotes Mate
    Coyotes are not only wily, they are also faithful
  • Coyotes are monogamous and mate for a lifetime.[4]
  • Western Canadians tend to pronounce "coyote" as "ky-ote," while those from Ontario rhyme it with "Wile E."[4]
  • Coyotes can run up to 43 miles per hour (69 km per hour). The top speed of a human is 28 mph (45 km per hour).[6]
  • Coyotes eat pretty much anything they can find, including rabbits, rodents, birds, fish, frogs, deer, fruit, grass, and carrion.[3]
  • Some Native American tribes, such as the Chinook, Maidu, Paiute, Pawne, and Ute, portray the coyote as the companion of the Creator.[4]
  • Even though they have been hunted and trapped for over 200 years, there are more coyotes today than when the U.S. Constitution was signed.[5]
  • The coyote is also known as Medicine Dog, Brother, Old Man Coyote, and Little Wolf.[5]
  • The mythology of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest tells how the coyote put salmon in the rivers and taught humans how to make fish traps and salmon spears.[5]
  • The scientific name for "coyote" is Canis latrans, which means "barking dog."[1]
  • Wildest of all beasts is the wolf, and wildest of all wolves is the coyote.

    - Julian Hawthorne (1846–1934)

  • A human has about 5 million olfactory receptors in their nose. Scientists estimate a coyote has about 300 million olfactory receptors. 
  • Coyotes sometimes walk on their toes to make as little noise as possible.[3]
  • The coyote is also known as the American jackal.[4]
  • Low desert and valley coyotes weigh much less than those living in mountainous terrain, weighing in at about 20 pounds. In contrast, mountain coyotes can reach up to 50 pounds .[5]
  • The coyote is one of the most adaptable animals in the world. They can change breeding habits, diets, and social dynamics to survive in a wide variety of habitats.[4]
  • Random Coyote Facts
    Coyotes are one of the most vocal predators in the United States.

  • Only 20% of coyote pups survive their first year.[1]
  • The coyote is listed as "least concern" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, because the coyote is distributed widely and abundantly.[4]
  • As of 2005, scientists have recognized 19 coyote subspecies.[1]
  • The greatest threat to coyotes are humans, followed by cougars and gray wolves.[1]
  • In Mesoamerican mythology, the coyote is seen as a symbol of military might. However, after the European colonization of the Americas, it was seen as cowardly and untrustworthy.[4]
  • DNA studies show that most North American wolves have coyote DNA.[1]
  • Coyotes can jump a distance of over 13 feet (4 meters).[4]
  • Fun Coyote Facts
    Coyotes are amazing athletes

  • The largest coyote on record was a male killed in Afton, Wyoming, in 1937. He measured 4 ft 11 in (1.5m) from nose to tail, and he weighed 75 lb (34 kg).[4]
  • Coyotes living at higher elevations usually have more black and gray shades in their coats than desert-dwelling coyotes.[1]
  • Naturalist Thomas Say first described the coyote scientifically in September 1819. He was also the first to describe the differences between a wolf and a coyote.[2]
  • Coyote attacks on humans are rare and usually do not cause serious injuries. Attacks, however, have increased, especially in California.[4]
  • There have been only two confirmed fatal coyote attacks on humans. Three-year-old Keely Keen was killed by a coyote in Glendale, California; 19-year-old Taylor Mitchell was killed in Canada.[4]
  • Coyotes kill more livestock in western North America than any other predator.[2]
  • Wild Coyote Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Wild Coyote Infographic

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