News Crew: Coyotes!
Can you hear the howls of excitement across the land? There's a new Canidae in town! Some call us sly, most say we're mischievous, but everyone agrees we're clever. Who are we? Why, we're coyotes! But do you really know what sets coyotes apart from other animals? Well, as a coyote myself, I'd be glad to let you in on some fun facts! If you're wondering why coyotes seem to like western clothes and gear, it's because we live in the deserts, plains, forests and mountains of North and Central America. But, as human development moves more into our natural habitat, many coyotes have adapted to living in cities. We're no stranger to many kinds of environments because we can adapt, or change, our lifestyles to survive! For example, a coyote knows that when the season is dry, it's time to dig to find water.
Ok, so what does a coyote eat these days? I'd say, "Anything I can get my paws on!" I bet you didn't know I enjoy plants, such as fruits, vegetables, and grass. Yep, we coyotes are omnivores, meaning we eat both meat and vegetation. I've snacked on a few insects here or there as well! Unfortunately, I've also seen some of my city cousins digging through garbage cans for food, which is not a good idea. I'm not one for bragging, but coyotes can be pretty athletic creatures! We're great swimmers, and can run at about 40 miles an hour! Coyotes have even been know to jump over 8 foot fences! We also have very acute senses of sight, sound and smell. These help us remain elusive, as we often don't want to be seen. Coyotes are nocturnal animals, meaning we are most active at night. There's one way you'll know for sure if coyotes are out and about though - you might hear our classic howl ringing through the air at night. It's how coyotes communicate with each other over long distances! We can be very vocal in our communications, using howling, barking, and yipping. You might also notice that our ears change position with our mood, and that when feeling threatened, our tails become larger and bushier! Coyotes can live and hunt alone or in groups. We are very protective of our families, and usually dig dens out of sight. Or, sometimes an old abandoned badger hole will do. Both parents help take care of a new batch of pups. There can be 3 to 9 pups in one litter! The male often brings food to the female and the pups, and then helps protect them from predators. One more interesting thing before I go! The scientific name for a coyote, Canis latrans, means "barking dog". I hope you're barking with excitement for Jamaa's newest resident! Come have some wild fun with us, and howl on!
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