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10 Differences Between Coyotes and Foxes You Should Know

Filed in Education by on February 12, 2020

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10 Differences Between Coyotes and Foxes You Should Know.

Differences Between Coyotes and Foxes: Coyotes and Foxes are doglike terrestrial animals who belong to the family – canines.  Canines are easily identified by their moderate to large size, their massive, well-developed skulls and dentition, long legs, and comparatively short ears and tails.

Although both animals share lots of similarities, this article seeks to highlight the differences between these species of animals. Coyotes and foxes are mainly solitary and are adapted to a wide range of habitats, including urban areas such as inner cities and suburban neighborhoods.

10 Differences Between Coyotes and Foxes You Should Know


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 rest of the subspecies are for the most part found in Mexico, Canada, and the USA. These breeds can adjust to various natural surroundings so they can be found in living in or around huge urban areas. 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 a fox. They can run as fast as 40 mph and can jump up to 4m in the air. Their color varies greatly, depending on the location, e.g. in the northernmost parts of their range, they can be pale to white in color and in the West, they are more likely to have reddish hue fur with black markings.

10 Differences Between Coyotes and Foxes You Should Know


Foxes are omnivorous mammals that are light on their feet. However, they are often mistaken for other members of the Canidae family, which include jackals, wolves, and dogs. They stand out from their relatives because of their long, thin legs, lithe frame, pointed nose, and bushy tail.

These animals are very social and live flexible lives. They are found all over the world — in North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa — and call a wide range of terrains their home. They also eat a greatly varied diet.

Usually, foxes live in forested areas, though they are also found in mountains, grasslands and deserts. They make their homes by digging burrows in the ground. These burrows also called dens, provide a cool area to sleep, a good location to store food and a safe place to have their pups. Burrows are dug-out tunnels that have rooms for the fox and its family to live in.

Notable Distinctions Between Coyotes and Foxes

1. Foxes are solitary animals while coyotes are social animals.

2. They have an overlapping diet, but coyotes can also feed on foxes or just kill them to reclaim their territory

3. A fox undergoes 52 days gestation period. The gestation period in coyotes is 60 days.

4. Foxes have long bushy tail while Coyotes have a short tail relative to their body sizes.

5. Coyotes can hunt during the day whereas foxes are nocturnal animals.

6. Foxes have small canines weighing about 8 to 24 pounds. Coyotes are generally bigger than Foxes and weigh between 24 to 46 pounds.

7. There are 19 recognized species of coyotes unlike foxes with 12 known species. 

8. They have the same habits and can adapt to diverse environments such as mountains, forests, grasslands, and deserts.

9. Coyotes kill deer for food. Foxes don’t readily have the strength to kill a deer. 

10. Coyotes and foxes are the canines where the foxes are the smallest to the coyotes but the coyotes smaller than the wolves.

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