Coyotes are very common in the desert southwest, although they occur throughout the United States.  Canis latrans, also called the American wild dog, are in the Canid family with dogs and foxes.  You’ve probably heard of canine teeth, which these animals use to tear apart prey.  Coyotes use distinctive howls and yips to communicate with each other.  The image of a howling coyote is synonymous with the southwest.  Desert coyotes are much leaner than their northern counterparts, weighing only about 20 pounds, and have a lighter, shorter coat.  A round, bushy tail is common to all of them and is held horizontally when threatened.  Notorious for being scavengers in urban areas, they are also excellent hunters, with good hearing, smell, and eyesight, and stealthily walking on their toes.  Coyotes hunt both by day and night and are spotted all throughout Red Rock Canyon.  They do not hibernate.

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