What Are the Differences Between a Coyote and a Fox?

Coyotes are much larger than foxes, as they reach nearly 47 pounds in weight, while red foxes only reach about 31 pounds. Additionally, coyotes have head and body lengths that approach 40 inches, while red foxes rarely exceed 36 inches in head and body length. Coyotes are colored in combinations of brown, straw, gray, white and black, while red foxes are mostly red with red and white accents.

Being larger than foxes, coyotes take larger prey, although there is some overlap. Foxes never hunt and kill animasl such as deer or sheep, while coyotes often prey on these animals. Conversely, foxes consume a number of small prey species, such as lizards, mice and frogs, which are not large enough to interest coyotes. Coyotes may even prey on foxes at times, but both species attempt to exclude each other from their territories.

While coyotes may live singly, in pairs or with a large pack, foxes are usually solitary animals. However, a male and female may breed and share the same range. Coyotes are the most vocal species of the dog family, and their howling abilities are well-documented. While foxes do communicate with their breeding partners, rivals and young by emitting a variety of vocalizations, they do not vocalize to the same extent as coyotes.