Critter ID: Coyote or Coyo-Dog?
/forum/topic/1164110/0



RikWriter
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 2502
Country: United States

My friend Mark has encountered a coyote in the same place in the woods outside his town repeatedly and has taken several photos of it. He has begun to wonder, however, because of its unusual coloration, as to whether it might be a coyote-dog mix. What do y'all think?







jdc562
Registered: Mar 27, 2006
Total Posts: 1455
Country: United States

Something I learned in Yellowstone this spring is that coyotes do come in different colors. About 4 months ago I posted pics here of a Yellowstone coyote that was almost white. (http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1127974/0?keyword=coyote#10769497)
Your photos show a coyote that is more-or-less midway in coloration between the common reddish brown and the white one.



RikWriter
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 2502
Country: United States

Anyone else?



sqphotography
Registered: Dec 22, 2008
Total Posts: 148
Country: United States

to me it looks pretty much like a coyote, there is a lot of color variation and even size variation, but head, muzzle ears and tail look like a coyote. Often a mix bread the head/muzzle will be very different and tail curls can be a give away



rprouty
Registered: Aug 10, 2002
Total Posts: 6838
Country: United States

Looks like a touch of fox mixed in..



RikWriter
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 2502
Country: United States

rprouty wrote:
Looks like a touch of fox mixed in..


Can they interbreed



Genes Home
Registered: Mar 12, 2008
Total Posts: 1433
Country: United States

At first glance photo #2 is very foxy looking. The other two shots are definately coyote looking.

It COULD be a coydog (they are everywhere, it seems), but my guess would be that this is a juvenile coyote with its first year coat intact.

There is an amazing variability in physique/build, ears, nose, etc., as you move across the U.S. For instance, even in summertime Yellowstone area coyotes seem to be heavier in body than the long-legged skinny characters you find in the far southwest.

Gene



broncoholic
Registered: Apr 18, 2012
Total Posts: 316
Country: United States

RikWriter wrote:
rprouty wrote:
Looks like a touch of fox mixed in..


Can they interbreed


No they cannot:

Fox is a "vulpes velox", coyote is "canis latrans", foxes are not canines, exactly. Foxes are Vulpine, a completely different species. They are a species that branched from canines billions of years ago.

You can not get offspring from two completely different species.

But Coyotes and Dogs can, So say the experts.



normsmith
Registered: Aug 21, 2003
Total Posts: 4033
Country: United States

During my career as a wildlife ecologist I supervised several studies by my grad students who worked on coyotes. Some of the studies involved a collection of coyotes living in suburban areas. The color variation stretched from light colored to very dark. The skulls were examined by taxonomists who agreed that a few of them were dog-coyote hybrids. I hope this helps.
Norm



jdc562
Registered: Mar 27, 2006
Total Posts: 1455
Country: United States

Also, several DNA studies have reportedly shown that wolves and coyotes have hybridized in the wild to some extent in the Northeastern U.S., and the offspring are breeding, not sterile. "Species" barriers are not impermeable to cross-breeding and production of successfully reproducing offspring.