The coyote is a well-known animal in North America, recognized for its distinctive howling calls that can be heard at night. But there are many other creatures that share similarities with the coyote, such as their predatory nature and adaptability to different environments. Often confused for wolves, coyotes are actually much smaller in size.
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It’s fascinating to think about the variety of animals that exist with these same traits and yet differ greatly in appearance. In this post, we will delve into the world of animals that are like coyotes, and discover some fascinating facts about these creatures that call North America their home.
12 ANIMALS LIKE COYOTES
Numerous creatures, akin to coyotes, can be observed, each from a distinct perspective. Whether considering their appearance or behavior, the ensuing animals share certain characteristics with coyotes. Presented here are 12 such animals resembling coyotes:
1. RED FOX
Scientific Name: Vulpes vulpes
The red fox is a fascinating animal that shares many similarities with the coyote. These creatures are both predators and scavengers who are very adaptable to diverse environments. With their reddish fur and slender build, red foxes are similar in size to coyotes, but they also possess their own distinct characteristics. These cunning and sly creatures are skilled hunters with exceptional agility and speed, just like coyotes.
However, one unique aspect of red foxes is that they are monogamous, often only mating with a single partner throughout their entire life. Whether you’re admiring their impressive agility or their unwavering loyalty, there’s no denying that red foxes are truly remarkable animals.
2. GRAY WOLVES
Scientific Name: Canis lupus
The gray wolf, the largest member of the Canid family, has faced a tremendous amount of persecution by humans. Despite these challenges, gray wolves still thrive in many parts of the world. In fact, their role in ecosystems has earned them a reputation as keystone species. Their presence helps to maintain the balance of their habitats. Gray wolves and coyotes are two species that share a lot of similarities.
They both live in packs and convey interdependence and loyalty. While there are some differences in the types of prey they hunt, gray wolves and coyotes are both opportunistic carnivores who have adapted to their environments. With their resilience and ability to overcome challenges, it’s perhaps not surprising to learn that gray wolves can last up to fourteen days without eating, a fascinating fact about these marvelous creatures.
3. THE AFRICAN WILD DOG
Scientific name: Lycaon pictus
The African wild dog, also known as Africa’s largest wild dog, is a fascinating and unique animal. This species can be found living across Sub-Saharan Africa, with Tanzania and Mozambique being the primary areas they call home. Unfortunately, despite their strength and predatory nature, the African wild dog is one of the most powerless mammals in the world, and the most vulnerable to extinction.
Like coyotes, the African wild dog is a predator and scavenger, known to travel in packs and cooperate when hunting. These social animals live in very close-knit family groups of up to 40 members and have a slender build similar to coyotes. But what truly sets them apart is their incredible speed. An African wild dog is capable of running at speeds of up to 44 miles per hour, making them one of the fastest animals on land.
4. RACOON DOGS
Scientific name: Nyctereutes procyonoides
Raccoon dogs are a curious species that many people may not know much about. These unique animals are native to East Asia, where their populations are widespread. Interestingly, they are often mistaken for raccoons due to their appearance, but raccoon dogs are actually more closely related to wolves and dogs. Regarding their food choices, these opportunistic feeders are not picky and will consume almost everything they come across.
Another intriguing fact is that raccoon dogs are capable of adapting to new environments, including urban areas. However, unlike other canids, raccoon dogs are the only hibernators in their family, a fascinating characteristic that sets them apart. While they may not be as well-known as their relatives, raccoon dogs are intriguing creatures that certainly deserve recognition.
5. FENNEC FOX
The fennec fox may be small, but it is a fierce survivor in the unforgiving Sahara Desert. With its distinctively large ears, the fennec fox has adapted to cope with the harsh, dry climate. Interestingly, fennec foxes share some similarities with another desert dweller: the coyote. Both animals are nocturnal and skilled hunters, relying on their exceptional hearing to locate their prey.
However, while coyotes rest during the day, fennec foxes hide in sand burrows to avoid the blazing sun. Even though fennec foxes are much smaller than coyotes, their speed and agility make them formidable predators. And when it comes to communication, fennec foxes are quite vocal, using a range of sounds from chatters to barks to communicate with each other.
6. MANED WOLF
Scientific name: Chrysocyon brachyurus
The maned wolf is the largest canid in South America. It is found in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. The maned wolf gets its name from the long hair on its neck and back, which resembles a mane.
The maned wolf is a fascinating animal that inhabits South America. As the largest canid on the continent, it is easy to spot with its long legs and mane-like hair on its back and neck. What makes it even more unique is that it’s an omnivore, eating everything from fruits and vegetables to insects. It’s also a social animal that lives in packs, although it’s not as similar to coyotes as other canids.
One interesting fact about the maned wolf is that it marks its territory with urine on bushes and trees. This helps to spread its unique body odor and claim its space. With its impressive running and jumping abilities, the maned wolf is a force to be reckoned with in the animal kingdom!
7. ARCTIC FOX
Scientific name: Vulpes lagopus
The arctic fox is a remarkable animal, specifically adapted to living in some of the coldest and most challenging environments on Earth. One of the hallmarks of this beautiful creature is its thick, white fur, which helps it to stay warm and camouflaged in snowy surroundings.
Surprisingly, arctic foxes have an unusual ability to change the color of their fur from white to brown in the summer, allowing them to blend in with their surroundings and remain undetected by predators.
While hunting alone or in pairs, these clever predators will eat just about anything they can find, including lemmings, voles, birds, and even arctic hares. Interestingly, the arctic fox shares these traits with another similarly predatory species – the coyote.
Scientific name: Lycalopex culpaeus
The Andean fox, also known as the culpeo, may look like a fox with their reddish-brown fur, but they are actually the largest member of the Lycalopex genus, growing up to twice the size of a coyote. Despite their size, however, they share many similarities in behavior and diet with their smaller canid cousin.
The culpeo, like the coyote, is an opportunistic predator and scavenger, eating everything from rabbits and rodents to carrion and even fruit and plants.
Unfortunately, their tendency to attack livestock has earned them a reputation as pests in some areas. Interestingly, culpeos rely on postures, body scents, and physical cues to communicate with each other. These fascinating creatures are a vital part of the Andean ecosystem and a joy to observe in their natural habitat.
9. PAMPAS FOX
Scientific name: Lycalopex gymnocercus
The Pampas fox is a fascinating and unique canine that is native to the grassy plains of South America. With its rust-colored fur and black accents, this fox looks similar to its North American cousin, the coyote. However, there are several notable differences between the two species, including the fact that the Pampas fox is smaller in size and only found in certain parts of South America.
Despite its nocturnal and solitary nature, the Pampas fox is a highly adaptable and intelligent animal that has learned to thrive in both urban and rural environments.
This has made them both a fascinating animal to observe and a potential nuisance to farmers and urban residents alike. Regardless of how one might feel about them, there is no denying that the Pampas fox is a captivating creature that deserves our respect and admiration.
10. DARWIN’S FOX
Scientific name: Lycalopex fulvipes
Darwin’s fox, an endangered canid species found in the forest of Nahuel Huapi National Park, has a fascinating history. Named after Charles Darwin, this small fox is closely related to the culpeo fox, which lives in Chile.
Although similar in appearance to the coyote, Darwin’s fox is smaller and has a shorter snout and rounder ears. DNA analysis has revealed that the species is more closely related to the American coyote than to the culpeo fox.
These similarities are likely due to convergent evolution, as both species have adapted to similar environments.
Sadly, people have also played a significant role in the threat to this species, as they have hunted it for its shiny fur. With an estimated population of fewer than 639 individuals, Darwin’s fox is a reminder of the importance of protecting our planet’s unique and threatened wildlife.
11. COY WOLF
Scientific name: Canis latrans x Canis lupus
The coywolf is a fascinating creature that has been a point of interest for many animal enthusiasts. These hybrids are a mix of coyotes and dogs, and they are found in the Eastern part of the United States and Canada. Unlike their coyote cousins, coywolves are daring and confident, often showing no fear toward humans.
They display their cunning and intelligence while hunting in packs, taking down prey as large as deer. It is quite striking to see these medium-sized animals with yellow eyes and gray or brown coats roam around the wilderness.
It’s hard to believe that these creatures are relatively new, with the first documented hybridization happening less than a century ago. Coywolves are slowly becoming a recognized type of wild animal, and it’s only a matter of time before they are fully integrated into the animal kingdom.
12. CRAB-EATING FOX
Scientific Name: Cerdocyon thous
The crab-eating fox is an intriguing and unique canid native to South America. This fascinating fox is the largest in its range and can weigh up to 15 pounds. Its reddish-brown fur is highlighted by a lighter belly and a distinguishing black tail tip. While the crab-eating fox primarily feeds on crabs, it is also known to eat rodents, birds, and fruits.
Found in Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina, the crab-eating fox uses its long snout and sharp claws to dig into the mud for its prey. Like coyotes, this clever creature is an opportunistic feeder and will eat whatever is available to it. Its resourcefulness and adaptability are just a few of the reasons why the crab-eating fox is such a fascinating and captivating animal.
What is the closest animal to a coyote?
Gray wolf, kit fox and Sierra Nevada red fox.
What looks like a coyote?
What animal looks like a fox or coyote?
One animal that shares similarities with both foxes and coyotes is the “kit fox” (Vulpes macrotis).
In conclusion, animals like coyotes are fascinating creatures that have captured the attention and intrigue of people for generations. Their adaptability, intelligence, and resilience have made them icons of the Western frontier and symbols of freedom and independence.
Whether you encounter them in the wild, hear their eerie howls at night, or catch a glimpse of their sleek, crafty movements, it’s impossible not to be impressed by their unique beauty and skill.
While they may sometimes be viewed as pests or nuisances, it’s important to remember that animals like coyotes play a vital role in maintaining the delicate balance of the ecosystem, and their continued presence is essential to the health and well-being of the planet as a whole.
A motivated philosophy graduate and student of wildlife conservation with a deep interest in human-wildlife relationships, including wildlife communication, environmental education, and conservation anthropology. Offers strong interpersonal, research, writing, and creativity skills.