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Difference between Coyote and Fox

Coyotes and foxes both belong to the same family, the Canidae. People often confuse coyote with fox as they look alike. Let us study these animals more closely to better understand how they differ from each other!

Coyote:

Coyotes belong to the family Canidae, under the Order Carnivora. They are native to North and Central America. Its scientific name is Canis latrans. There are around 19 recognized subspecies of coyote out of which 3 are found in Central America. The remaining subspecies are mostly found in Mexico, Canada and the USA. They can adapt to different habitats so can be found in living in or around large cities.

They are characterized by large triangle-shaped ears, a long narrow muzzle and a long, bushy tail. They are smaller than a grey wolf but larger than fox. They can run as fast as 40 mph and can jump up to 4m in the air. Their colour varies greatly, depending on the location, e.g. in the northernmost parts of their range, they can be pale to white in colour and in the West, they are more likely to have reddish hue fur with black markings.

They are mostly carnivores as they mostly eat deer and large kills of other animals and can also feed on insects, fruits, berries etc. An adult coyote can measure from 76 to 86 cm in length without including tail, weighs around 7 to 21 kg and life span is around 6 to 8 years.

Fox:

Foxes are small-to-medium sized animals that belong to the family Canidae under the Order Carnivora. They are generally found around the cities in the Northern Hemisphere. There are around 12 species of fox found all over the world such as red fox or urban fox, arctic fox, sand fox and fennec fox.

They are characterized by a pointed nose, lithe frame, and long, thin legs relative to their body. They are nocturnal which means they are more active at night and mostly hunt at night. The average life span of a fox is 6 to 7 years, but it is found that it can live up to 13 years in captivity.

Foxes are omnivorous as they can feed on both meat and vegetation. An adult fox can measure from 45 to 70 cm in length, without including tail; weighs around 2 to 11 kg and life span is around 2 to 6 years in the wild.

Based on above facts, some of the key differences between coyote and fox are as follows:

Coyote Fox
Coyotes are generally larger than foxes. Foxes are generally smaller than coyotes.
There are 19 recognized species of coyotes. There are 12 recognized species of foxes.
They measure from 76 to 86 cm in length, without the tail. They measure from 45 to 70 cm in length, without the tail.
An adult coyote weighs around 7 to 21 kg. An adult fox weighs around 2 to 11 kg.
The tail is long and bushy. The tail is bushy and short relative to the body.
The gestation period is around 60 days. The gestation period is around 52 days.
They can hunt during the day. They are nocturnal, so are more likely to hunt at night.
They can kill a deer for food. They are not able to kill a deer for food.
They are social animals. They are solitary animals.
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