Species (Canis latrans) of canine found in North and Central America. Its range extends from Alaska and Canada south through the continental U.S. and Mexico to Central America. It weighs about 20–50 lbs (9–23 kg) and is about 3–4 ft (1–1.3 m) long, including its 12–16-in. (30–40-cm) tail. Its coarse fur is generally buff above and whitish below; its legs are reddish, and its tail is bushy and black-tipped. The coyote feeds mainly on small mammals such as rodents, rabbits, and hares but can also take down deer, sometimes doing so in packs. Vegetation and carrion are commonly eaten as well. Though persecuted by humans because of its potential (generally overstated) to prey on domestic or game animals, it has adapted well to human-dominated environments, including urban areas. A coyote-dog cross is called a coydog.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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