- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Canidae
- Genus: Canis
- Species: Canis latrans
20 Coyote Facts for Kids
- Coyotes are canines that are native to the North American continent.
- Coyotes are occasionally known as brush wolves and prairie wolves.
- The scientific binomial name for a coyote is Canis latrans.
- There are currently 19 recognized subspecies of coyotes.
- Coyotes can be found throughout North America.
- A coyote’s fur color varies by where it lives. Typically, it’s a mixture of gray, white, tan or brown colors.
- A male coyote on average will weigh between 18 and 44 pounds.
- A female coyote on average will weigh between 15 and 40 pounds.
- A coyote can run up to 40 miles per hour.
- A male coyote is called a boar, a female coyote is called a bitch and a young coyote is called a pup.
- A female coyote typically has a litter between 3 and 12 pups. The typical gestation period (conception to birth) for coyotes is 63 days. Both the male and female participate in rearing (taking care of) their pups.
- Coyotes are monogamous, meaning they only have one mate during their entire lifetime.
- The largest coyote on record was a male that was killed by a hunter in 1937. It weighed 75 pounds and had a nose to tail length of 4 feet and 11 inches.
- Coyotes are carnivorous and typically prey on birds, deer, fish, hares, rabbits and other small to medium sized mammals.
- Coyotes hunt in both a group (a pack) and on their own.
- Coyotes are known to kill livestock, such as sheep and domesticated pets (cats and dogs).
- Coyotes are very vocal, and they’ll make noises (howl) during the nighttime to communicate with other coyotes.
- It’s rare for a coyote to attack a human and there are only two confirmed cases of a human death caused by a coyote.
- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has the conservation status for coyotes at least concern.
- If you see an animal running and you don’t know if it’s a dog or coyote, just look at the tail. Dogs will run with their tails up and coyotes run with their tails down.
A picture of young coyote pups and their mother.
Credit: Steve Guymon
A picture of a coyote licking its nose.
Credit: Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
A picture of a group of coyotes sitting together.
Credit: Perry McKenna
Additional Resources with Coyote Facts
- Learn About Coyotes – Find out more about coyotes on the Project Coyote website.
- Coyote – Wikipedia – Find more information and facts about coyotes on the Wikipedia website.
- Coyote – Britannica – Learn more about coyotes (Canis latrans) on the Britannica website.