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Coyote

wolf, western and dogs

COYOTE, ld'o-te or koi'o-te, prairie wolf (Canis latrans), native to the western United States, and before the advent of civilization nu merous as far east as the extent of the prairies of the Mississippi Valley, where it was called the red wolf in distinction from the large gray or timber wolf (q.v.). At present it is abundant from the dry plains of Texas, Nebraska and Manitoba, westward to the Pacific coast, south of central British Columbia, and also in Mex ico. Throughout this wide range it supports itself easily in spite of civilization, and at night its long-drawn cry, more like a bark than a howl, may be heard for long distances; and, owing to its predatory habits, this wailing call inspires terror in its possible victims and rouses the anger of the western ranchman whose flocks and herds are apt to suffer from the inroads of the barking wolf, as the coyote is sometimes called.

Coyotes are smaller than other wolves, being about the size of setter dogs, and, although they often travel in packs, as do other wolves, they are cowardly where man is concerned, and confine their raids to the brute creation. Their

fur is soft, reddish or tawny-gray in color, sometimes slightly tipped with black. The tail is bushy, the ears upright and the slender muz zle very pointed. The coyotes live in hollows among rocks, or in deserted burrows, whence they usually issue at dusk, to hunt. Their food is chiefly gophers, mice, ground-nesting birds, prairie-dogs and other small animals, their dep redations on sheep-folds and cattle-ranches being mainly reserved for winter. In former days they were persistent enemies of the prong horns. They are fleet footed, cunning in avoid ing snares and adapt themselves readily to varying conditions, hence they increase rather than diminish in the more isolated regions where they are found. They were well known to the Western Indians and formed the basis of some breeds of their dogs. Many tales of American Indian folk-lore in these tribes are concerned with them. Consult Elliott, 'Synopsis of Mam mals' (1901) ; Ingersoll, 'Wild Neighbors) (1897).