Coyote
Genus: Canis
Species: latrans

When you think of a coyote, you think of huge, snarling, blood-thirsty wolves, right? Well, that's how I felt when I first started researching these animals. After you read my essay I hope you will have learned more about coyotes and realize that they aren't as scary as you thought.

Coyotes belong to the dog family. They do look a lot like the wolf, but if you got an up-close look then you might see a few differences. For instance, coyotes

are smaller, have a narrower nose, and longer ears than the wolf. Grown males are usually 18 to 44 pounds, while females are 7 to 18 pounds. They are 4 feet long, including their 11 to 16 inch tail. Coyotes are a mix of gray, brown, and yellow.

Coyotes used to live in the northwestern United States, but now they are ranging around all states, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Coyotes live either in pairs or alone.

I would say that there are two different categories that everyone fits into. One goes into a restaurant and knows exactly what they are going to order and they won't eat anything else. Another will go to the same restaurant and just pick the first thing on the menu they see. From researching the coyote I can safely say they easily fit into the second group. What I mean is, they are omnivores, which is a mammal that eats both animals and vegetables or fruits. The Coyotes main diet is rabbits, birds, gopher, prairie dogs, rats,and fruits. In the winter they will eat remains of animals, watermelon, berries, and mesquite beans. Gosh, my mom would like to have them to dinner! She is so used to having my sister and I be picky eaters.

Coyotes mate at two years of age. They are pregnant for 60 to 63 days. The females give birth in the spring to 5 or 6 pups. The pups weigh 7 to 10 ounces, and are born blind. Their eyes open up within 2 weeks. The mother provides milk for 6 weeks, but after that the pups are on their own to find their food.

Not a lot of animals have a better hearing system than coyotes. Their ears move back and forth, pinpointing any noise they hear. This special ability makes it easy for them to find food. Coyotes are smart animals and when they sense trouble, they don't investigate, they run.

Coyotes have a good population. They are the hunters, not the hunted, though some humans think it is fun killing coyotes for sport. You will probably agree with me that taking pride in killing an animal for the fun of it is very dumb. But the coyotes are proud animals and will not be defeated.

Lauren F. 2000.


 

bibliography:

World Book Encyclopedia, 2 Scott Ferzer Company, 1983-1996 World Book Inc.

"Animals", Groliers Multimedia Encyclopedia, (5/6/00).

"The Coyote - Canis Latrans", http://www.naturepark.com/covinfo.htm (5/6/00).

 

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