11 Difference Between Wolf and Coyote (With Table)

Wolf and coyote are both members of the family Canidae. The members in this family have similar physical appearances although they differ in various ways.

The main difference between a wolf and a coyote is that an adult wolf is larger than an adult coyote. This is the main feature that makes the two animals different from each other.

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Comparison Table (Wolf vs Coyote)

Characteristics Wolf Coyote
Scientific name It is referred to as Canis Lupus. It is referred to as Canis Latrans.
Size Larger in body size. Comparatively smaller in body size.
Height It is 5-6 feet long from the nose to the tip of its tail. It is 4 feet long from the nose to the tip of its tail.
Weight It weighs between 23-68 kg. It weighs between 6.8- 21 kg.
Position of the tail They keep their tail straight while running. They keep their tail down between their hind legs while running.
Diet They feed on large animals like deer and moose. They feed on smaller animals like rabbits, hare, and birds.
Social behavior They always live and hunt in packs. They may live in packs or solitary lives.
Teeth and claws Claws and teeth are more powerful and sharp. Claws and teeth are less powerful and less sharp.
Geographical distribution They are found in North America, Asia, and Europe. They are restricted to North America.
Howls They have a lower-pitch howl that is long and drawn out. They have high-pitched howl with short bursts that rise and fall.
Relationship with humans They tend to stick to the forest cover and avoid people if possible. They are adapted to the presence of human beings.
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What is a Wolf?

Wolves are much similar to large dogs. There are only three species of wolves in the world. They include the gray wolf, red wolf, and Ethiopian wolf. They are all good hunters and they hunt on large animals such as deer and moose.

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The Gray wolf is the largest species while the Ethiopian wolf is the smallest species. They have strong jaws and sharp teeth that enable them to tear the flesh from their prey. They also have good sight, hearing, and smell senses that enable them to sense their prey from a distance.

They are social animals and they live and hunt in packs. A pack may consist of 2-25 wolves. They communicate frequently with other members of the pack.

What is a Coyote?

A coyote is a dog-like animal often confused with foxes and wolves. They are mostly found in North America. When compared to wolves in body size, a coyote is smaller in body size. Male coyotes are larger than their female counterparts.

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They have bushy tails, long legs, and sharp teeth. They keep their tail down between their legs while running. They are active throughout the day hence they are diurnal animals. Its fur on the sides and back of the body is brown, gray, or red in color. The chest and underside are covered with cream-colored fur.

They feed on insects, birds, fish, rabbits, hare and sometimes feed on carrions. They either live solitary or in packs. The ones who live solitary lives are more aggressive compared to the ones that live communal lives.

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Main Differences between Wolf and Coyote

  1. Wolves are comparatively larger in body size while coyotes are smaller.
  2. Wolves keep their tails straight while running whereas coyotes keep their tails down between their legs while running.
  3. Wolves feed on large animals like deer and moose while coyotes feed on small animals like rabbits, hare, fish, and insects.
  4. Wolves always live and hunt in packs while coyotes live either solitary or in packs.
  5. Wolves have lower-pitch howl that is long and drawn out while coyotes have high-pitched howl with short bursts that rise and fall.
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Similarities between Wolf and Coyote

  1. Both animals are carnivores.
  2. They both belong to the family Canidae.
  3. They both have long tails.

In Conclusion

Wolves and coyotes belong to the same family. Many people confuse them. They are two different animals. Coyotes are found in North America while wolves are found in North America, Asia, and Europe.

Wolves feed on large animals like deer and moose while coyotes feed on small animals like rabbits, hare, and fish. The main feature that makes wolves different from coyotes is the size.

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