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Eastern coyotes, coywolves, what are they?
#1
So, it's past midnight and I just got close to a big predator outside.

One of my dogs was barking at something out the window. I went outside, and bam, there's a big creature of the night staring at me under the streetlight.

It took me a while to piece what it was. It was so big, I kept on thinking if it it was a canine, it'd have to be a wolf because it was too big to be a fox or coyote. After I went back inside, I googled away. I guess coyotes in the northeast are part wolf or something, making them bigger than what people normally think of when they think of coyotes.

It was probably the biggest coyote I've ever seen. Usually I just hear them howling in the distance.

I'm a little bit confused on the differences between the types. When I normally think of "coywolf," I think of a wolf and a coyote having a baby together, but a lot of sources online said coywolf is interchangeable with Eastern Coyotes, and that the coyotes in the northeast came from a hybridization of wolves and coyotes a long time ago, and that they are still evolving. It's confusing to think of how there are "coywolves" in the northeast but no wolves.

It was very beautiful up close. Their howling can be a lot spookier than your standard wolf howl. They sometimes wake me up at night if I have my window open. If anyone knows anything, feel free to share.
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#2
Okay, I did more research.

So, the term "coywolf" is misleading and should be dropped.

There are different kinds of coyotes, like the desert coyote and California coyote. The Eastern Coyote is, obviously, in the East. Eastern coyotes are part wolves, but only in the sense that they have interbed with wolves in the past. There are no wolves (supposedly) in the American Northeast like New England and New York, because European colonists hunted them all out. However, there are still wolves in Canada, especially in eastern Canada like Ontario where there are also eastern coyotes.

There is still contemporary crossbreeding between eastern coyotes and wolves that happen today in eastern Canada like the province of Ontario, but there are no wolves across the border in the northeastern US. However, the coyotes that live in New England and New York and other regions in the east still have a fraction of wolf DNA from crossbreeding that happened hundreds of years ago.

This makes eastern coyotes larger and more aggressive than other kinds of coyotes (with an exception to the aggressiveness of Wile E. Coyote, of course). So the term "coywolf" is misleading, as it doesn't specify whether one is talking about eastern coyotes or contemporary crossbreeds.

Some vids:



Apparently I can only use one video per post if I use the insert video function, but they pop up when I insert them as links:



Close to what I saw, although the one I saw was a lot taller:



Too cute not to watch:



A video on what to do if you encounter a coyote:

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#3
Mind blown! I just discovered that coyotes are *possibly* new in the northeast!

Anglo Americans didn't know about coyotes until the Lewis & Clark expedition:

https://www.historynet.com/coyote-american-original.htm

They called it a "prairie wolf" and were puzzled on how it was neither wolf, fox, nor domestic dog.


Eastern coyotes weren't confirmed in the state of New York until the 1920s, and not in Massachusetts until the 1950s:

https://www.massaudubon.org/learn/nature...background

That's interesting, because when I was eight or nine, one of my great aunts who was from the early 1900s used to call my parents to ask if our dogs were barking at her house late at night and was always confused when my parents told her it was coyotes. They must have been new to her, and she possibly never saw them despite growing up close to nature on a farm.

No one really knows how long eastern coyotes have been around. They didn't start appearing in the northeast until the mid-1900s, although photographs of early extermination campaigns show canids somewhat resembling the eastern coyotes in Pennsylvania in the 1800s: https://www.pgc.pa.gov/Education/Wildlif...oyote.aspx

With the winters in New England and Upstate New York being extreme, it's possible that the warmer-climate smaller coyotes from the American west cross-bred with wolves in the Great Lakes regions, giving them the ability to survive in the harsh winters of New England, New York, and Canada. With apex predators like wolves and mountain lions being driven to extinction in the east from Anglo Americans, this would have created a vacuum for this new breed of canids to fill. Eastern coyotes are mostly coyote in DNA, put part wolf and part dog. The dog DNA however is more ancient than you think. The truth is, coyotes make better monogamous couples than humans do. Coyote dads help coyote moms protect and raise the pups. Because domestic dogs won't help a coyote mother raise her pups, contemporary coyote-dog hybrids usually don't survive long in the wild.

https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/wildlif...oyote.html

https://www.nps.gov/articles/netn-specie...coyote.htm
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#4
Found this for you guys to look at on wiki.

Must be one of the oldest depictions of a coyote.
[Image: 1280px-Toltec_coyote.jpg]

Stucco relief at Tula, Hidalgo depicting CoyotesJaguars and Eagles feasting on human hearts.
HJPD - Own work
Tula, Hidalgo, Mexico: Pyramid of Tlahuizcalpanteuctli, relieves
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toltec
[Image: giphy.gif]
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