Coyotes once lived only in prairies and deserts of the western United States and in Mexico. Today they thrive almost anywhere in North America.
- Common Name:
- Scientific Name:
- Canis latrans
- Group Name:
- Average Life Span In The Wild:
- Up to 14 years
- Head and body: 32 to 37 inches; tail: 16 inches
- 20 to 50 pounds
Adaptability—that's the main reason for the success of the coyote. A coyote is naturally adaptable because it eats such a wide range of food. If it can't find mice or voles to eat, lizards, insects, or even garbage will do.
In Native American stories coyotes are clever and tricky. Some coyotes kill calves and lambs on people's ranches and farms. For a century people have tried to kill coyotes by using poison, traps, and guns. Still coyotes continue to thrive. This trickster of Native American tales often gets fooled—but it always bounces back.
Coyotes vary in body size from 32 to 37 inches (81 to 94 centimeters). Their tails can be up to 16 inches long (41 centimeters).