Both coyotes and wolves are different from each other. Some of the wolves are top predators whereas, some of them are entirely safe for society and the other animals. On the other hand, coyotes are small canids that mostly prey for small animals and have been stated safe for society.
It is also seen that in some places, wolves even prey upon the small coyotes. Despite the physical differences, both these species are related quite closely to each other. Some of the evident similarities between these two species include hunting style, diet, and intelligence.
- Ancestors and their DNA
There are four types of wolf-like canid inhabited in North America, including the gray wolves, red wolves, domestic dogs, and coyotes. There is a vast number of examples of the hybridization of these four major types of wolf-like canids.
The mitochondrial DNA difference between these species is about 0.2%. Many mammalogists believe that dogs are the direct descendants of one of the populations of gray wolves. Both coyotes and gray wolves share common ancestors from almost 2 million years, and the mitochondrial DNA difference between the two of them is around 4 percent.
Scientist suggests that the entire species of the red wolves are the hybridized product of gray wolves and coyotes.
All the canids are considered as intelligent animals who have solutions to their every problem and has the best ways to catch their prey. The evidence of the coyotes’ intelligence is that they can quickly figure out the ways to survive in the areas close to humans. Another best way to learn about their intelligence is to check out the development of complex social systems.
Wolves are the most social animals, which form different packs based on clear hierarchies. And it is seen in most of the cases that only alpha males and females have intercourse to reproduce the new generation. Although coyotes are quite flexible, and in some of the cases, they remain lifelong loners.
The primary behavior of both the coyotes and wolves is carnivorous, although they are also the scavenge carcasses. Coyotes have berries and fruits frequently. Wolves are exclusively carnivorous, but there are times when they also take fruits and berries. Wolves hunt for larger prey such as ungulates, whereas coyotes hunt for smaller prey, including birds, rodents, and rabbits. In areas where there are comparatively fewer wolves, then coyotes hunt for large prey, including deers regularly.
- Endurance of both the animals.
Gray wolves travel more than 600 miles from their birthplace in the entire period of their lives. And canids have a similar tendency of getting dispersed to a considerable distance. Most of the canids tend to get hold of their prey after exhausting them in the process of catching them.
Farmers, ranchers and pioneers frequently consider both wolves and coyotes as a problem. From much of their historical range, humans have eradicated wolves. But it was noticed that coyotes had increased their range over time. Formerly restricted to the West in the U.S., coyotes are now found in virtually every U.S. state. In 1985, a pair of coyotes living in Central Park was seen by New Yorkers.
This article shows how coyotes managed to survive, but wolves couldn’t. All the above are the underlying similarities between the coyotes and the gray wolves.