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What is a Coyote (Canis lantras)

What is a Coyote

What is a Coyote

Below is a transcription of the above sign found at the Valley of Fire Visitor Center.

Coyote – Canis lantras


Open plains, desert wash, open woodlands


41 to 52 inches (1 to 1.3 m) long, weight 20 to 50 pound (10 to 25 kg), about as large as a medium-sized dog.

Color: gray to reddish black with yellowish or rust-colored legs, long muzzle, large ears.

Runs with tail held down.


Mostly small rodents, rabbits, melons, fruits, domestic birds, small animals


Originally found only in western states, now has been recorded in every state except Delaware.


Omnivorous, expands range as it finds new food resources.

Predator of old and sick animals; scavenger of remains of road kills.

Can run up to 45 mph (70 km/h).


Name means “barking dog” most vocal of all southwestern mammals.

Mournful wails especially heard on moonlit nights.

Coyote is a major personality in Native American myths, depicted as a creator, a trickster, sometimes as a villain, seldom a hero.

Coyote in American Indian tales is much like the fox of Europe’s Aesop’s Fables.

What is a Coyote