"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Coyote or Wolf? For Some It Can Be Hard To Tell…

Misidentifying coyotes for wolves is one of the most common errors one is likely to hear tourists make while visiting Yellowstone National Park (YNP). The other common error is identifying cinnamon phase black bears as grizzly bears.
Coyotes and wolfs do share some common characteristics and can look similar under certain conditions. I also feel that the expectations of the visitor often contribute to the misidentification. Wolves are usually high on the list of “to see” species in the park. Naturally, when they see an animal that “could” be a wolf they tend to identify it as such.

The most obvious difference between the species is their size, with wolves being twice as large as coyotes. Coyotes also have more pointed snouts than wolves, which tend to look more like a German Shepherd dog. Wolves can be various colors, ranging from white to black with various shades of gray the most prevalent. Coyotes tend to be yellowish to dirty brown with some shades of gray thrown in.

I have heard coyotes identified as everything from "white foxes" to "golden colored wolves". It can get pretty funny sometimes. Most of the following photos are of coyotes. One is a wolf. If you want to venture a guess which one you can post it in the “comments” section.











2 comments:

  1. So far, two votes for the last photo have been e-mailed to me. Any more guesses before I disclose the answer?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The third photo is of a wolf. Thanks for taking a crack at picking the right one. It can be tough,especially when the animal is alone and there is not another to use as a reference.

    ReplyDelete

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