Fun Coyote Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Jan 03, 2023 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Natalie Rayworth
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Read these coyote facts about this predator species.

Our planet is filled with wonderful creatures. One can see variations among things they didn't ever quite notice.

If we were to list down all the variations that have been recorded on the planet till now, we would be sitting here for a long time. One such variation in nature is the coyote. Their appearance is somewhat similar to a wolf but their fur coat has spots of different colors.

The animal coyote (Canis latrans) is probably not as well known in the rest of the world as it is in North America. They form a very important part of North American Indian folklore and even that of Mexican.

The name coyote itself has Aztec roots. After reading about these nocturnal predators, you may also check pocket pitbull facts and lab chow mix facts.

Coyote Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a coyote?

Relative to dogs and wolves, the coyote (Canis latrans) is an omnivorous animal. Its main diet consists of meat, but it also eats berries and fruits during scarcity. Perhaps comparing it with jackals or foxes would help explain its appearances more. Coyotes are a common sight in residential areas. Coyotes, when in the wild, prefer to live in dens.  

Coyotes (Canis latrans) have seen huge importance in the North American Indian tribes and among the Aztecs. They regard coyotes as a deity of creation or sometimes a trickster who changes form to blend in. Coyotes were very highly regarded till the role of the trickster defined them as cowards instead of gods.

Coyotes are smaller than wolves. The females in comparison to males are more delicate in their stature but are otherwise very similar in appearance. Coyotes have a more varied fur than most canines.

What class of animal does a coyote belong to?

Coyotes mate to reproduce and nourish their young with milk. The females contain mammary glands. Hence, they belong to the class of mammals.

How many coyotes are there in the world?

The total number of coyotes that exist in the world is thought to be millions. Even when hundreds of thousands of coyotes are killed by humans every year, their population is growing steadily.

Where does a coyote live?

A coyote (Canis latrans) lives in a den during the reproduction phase but in general, they do not seem to need many shelters. They originated in open plains and tended to lie down under shades of trees, big bushes and shrubs.

In the present time, they can be found around Canada, USA, Mexico and Central America. Though, they have pretty much conquered all regions except the polar.

What is a coyote's habitat?

Coyotes (Canis latrans) originally were found in only the desert regions, foothills, scrubs and grasslands. Being adaptive by nature, now coyote populations have adjusted to living near urban regions brimming with humans. Coyotes can be found almost all over the world except in the polar regions.

Who do coyotes live with?

Coyotes live in a pack comprising of adults and pups. There is usually an alpha male and a female but they are often joined by relatives.

It is also common for them to live and travel solitarily except during mating season or when trying to bring down big prey. The males generally leave the pack as they grow but the females are raised within a herd. They prefer to live in dens, rather than the open as dens offer better protection from predators.

How long does a coyote live?

Adult coyotes may live up to six to eight years on average. They can also live up to 14 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Coyotes are mammals and give birth to a litter of pups in one go. This subjects them to mating the way mammals usually do. The general period of reproduction is between January to March.

Coyotes are usually found in pairs during their mating period, and they like to look for a den for reproduction. They are known for foraging the dens of smaller animals.

After mating in the den, the female gives birth in around 63 days. The pups are raised and protected for around a month inside the den with the female standing guard, as the male goes around looking for food.

What is their conservation status?

Their conservation status is categorized as of Least Concern. With the advancement of technology and deforestation of regions, coyotes spread to various regions. Over the years, the coyote populations have increased in various areas. Being predators, the packs continue to hunt livestock.

Coyote Fun Facts

What do coyotes look like?

Coyotes (Canis latrans) look similar to wolves but are smaller in size. They have patches of black, gray, white, and red or brown along their upper body.

Their tail is usually black, which is kept vertically down when walking or running. There are, of course, differences in appearance based on their habitat, but they are quite beautiful to look at.

A coyote stays in a pack.

How cute are they?

Coyotes do look like a petite version of wolves, but they are equally fierce and wild. They are not dogs to be petted. Their pups are no less cute than dog or wolf pups, but good luck getting close to them under their parents’ watchful eyes.

How do they communicate?

They communicate the way canines usually do. They have their own yips, barks and howls. They howl at each other when meeting after a long time or when establishing the boundaries of their packs or dens. They also use their sense of smell, hearing, and sight while communicating.

How big is a coyote?

A coyote (Canis latrans) is as big as a medium-sized dog but with a slightly longer snout. Their average size is around 38-48 in (3.2-4 ft) long. Their tails are usually 12-16 in (30-40 cm) long.

How fast can a coyote run?

Coyotes are known to run as fast as 40 mph (64 kmph).

How much does a coyote weigh?

Coyotes (Canis latrans) weigh on an average between 20-30 lb (9-13 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males and females of coyotes have been known as dogs and bitches respectively. This is common among almost all animals of the canine and dog family.

What would you call a baby coyote?

A baby coyote (Canis latrans) is called a pup, just like dogs and wolves.

What do they eat?

Coyotes are largely carnivorous but what makes them omnivores is their ability to adapt. They change their food habits based on the surrounding environmental conditions.

During summer or spring, when the likelihood of catching prey is low, they are known to eat berries, fruits and maybe hunt smaller animals. In winter, they usually form packs to hunt, and the most common victim of their attacks are the gentle deer.

Are they slobbery?

Since they usually belong to the wild regions of America, not a lot of the population has gotten very close to the coyote. However, they do not seem very slobbery by nature. It is interesting to see a coyote vs wolf. A wolf seems to drool more than a coyote.

Would they make a good pet?

As beautiful as they look, it is never safe to assume that an animal meant for the wild will be open to domestication. Apart from issues with finding food, the coyote (Canis latrans) is better off on its own.

Even during scarcity, coyotes are known to survive through adapting to the terms of their surroundings.

It is not that humans have not tried to domesticate it, but coyotes are painfully shy to people, and humans often don't accept them or have prejudices against them. They are better left by themselves in the wild.

Did you know...

Here are three interesting facts about coyotes:

There are around 19 subspecies of coyotes. Coyotes were famous in the lost ancient civilization of the Teotihuacan. The civilization is mysterious and is older than the Aztecs and Mayans.

Evidence has been found suggesting that the people of Teotihuacan dressed up as coyotes to harness their powers for rituals. The Aztecs gave us the name coyote. The Nahuatl name for these animals is coyotl, which was described as coyote (Canis latrans) by the Spaniards.

Though the English people called them cayjotte, coyote became the widely accepted name. Coyotes used to interbreed with dogs and wolves.

The offspring are known as cydogs and coywolves. Coyotes are not as territorial as wolves. They are only ever aggressive if the females are pregnant and only chase the aggressor away instead of killing them as wolves do.

Coyotes are mother-centered animals. The kids grow up and leave to find mates of their own once the mother leaves. The mother and father start a new family of pups after the old ones leave.

Coyotes have 11 different vocal tones. Each of these tones signals different messages ranging from threat, submission, superiority to playfulness, alarm and reunion. Coyotes are very prone to diseases and have been called the most common carrier of parasites all over North America.

They suffer from a wide range of diseases including rabies, hepatitis, encephalitis, tularaemia, distemper and parasite infections. The deadliest infection for coyotes is fluking. Experts say it is because of their varied diet.

Coyotes are hunters but they are also prey for certain animals. They often hunt in groups and form packs. Bigger animals like cougars, wolves, lynx, alligators, eagles and bears are often predators of coyotes.

Coyotes never dig into the trash. Those of these animals living in urban regions never look for food in trash or garbage bins.

They prefer a natural diet. Coyotes live long when compared to the standards of the canine family. They can live up to 14 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity with a good diet and care.

Coyotes walk on their tiptoes like humans when they are trying to go unnoticed or be sneaky. Coyotes are nocturnal animals. By nature, they enjoy hunting and eating in the night so they can sleep during the day.

Coyotes in or near urban regions only go out at night to avoid people, noise, and traffic. In Looney Tunes, Wile. E Coyote only has the color of a desert coyote.

Everything else about Wild. E is incorrect. Coyotes also run faster than roadrunners and would not require any gadgets to catch their prey.

Coyote (Canis latrans) pups hunt for insects, and coyotes also prey on porcupines. They are excellent swimmers despite swimming only when necessary and over medium distances.

Coyotes contribute to the environment by eating rodents. Farms and gardens have been bothered by rodents for ages, but coyotes help by hunting these smaller animals that can ruin the produce. They consist of 80 percent of a coyotes' diet.

Coyotes prefer to sleep in open areas or dens, however, they have been known to sleep in parking lots. They are very smart animals who can adapt to their environment very easily.

Are coyotes dangerous to humans?

Yes. Coyotes are commonly known to attack humans when provoked or threatened. Despite the attacks, humans keep hunting these creatures. However, the attacks were mostly in urban or suburban regions, and it's rare for these attacks to be fatal. Their behavior is quite unpredictable.

Coyotes are not very welcome in rural areas due to the threat to livestock that they bring. These hunters claim that they kill coyotes to keep the population in balance and their livestock safe. It is ironic how one animal is being killed to protect another. People have also claimed that hunting coyotes keep them active during the off-season.

As for your pets, coyotes don't tend to attack bigger dogs, but smaller pets might be in danger around a coyote pack.

What does coyote poop look like?

Knowing animal poop is essential while keeping a lookout for animals in the wild.

Coyote (Canis latrans) poop usually ranges between the colors black to gray. It also depends on the coyote's diet. A meat diet would give runny and black droppings while a fruit diet gives crumbly scat. The droppings have a burnt shade of light gray under the sun.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including pitbull chihuahua mix, or cheagle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our coyote coloring pages.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

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