Coyotes once roamed the vast desert landscapes and open prairies of North America, but have adapted to living in forests, mountains and cities. They run up to 40 miles per hour, have acute vision and a keen sense of smell. They also swim rather well.
Predatory in nature, a coyote spend its life span of 14 years dining on almost any animal it can get in its clutches, including rabbits, rodents, fish, frogs and even deer. They are known to kill lambs, calves and other livestock, as well as pet dogs and cats. A coyote eats insects, fruit and vegetables if it needs to. Aside from humans, the coyote only worries about falling prey to cougars and wolves. Some coyotes have, however, mated with wolves.
Coyotes are strictly monogamous and form strong nuclear family groups. In midwinter, the female coyote attracts a male mate by scent marking and howling. In spring, females give birth to litters of three to 12 pups. Father and mother both feed and protect their young as well as their territory. The pups are grown up enough to hunt on their own the following fall.
Coyotes communicate with a distinctive howl that comes in 11 different vocal styles. These are classified in three groups: alarm, greeting and contact. The lone howl is the most recognizable of their sounds, and typically announces the presence of a sole coyote separated from the pack.