What is the Difference Between a Fox and a Coyote?

coyote vs fox

Fox and coyote both belong to the Canidae family. People often get confused coyote with fox because they look similar. Let us discuss the difference between animals.

Coyote vs Fox:

Coyotes belong to the Carnivora order and its binomial name Canis Latrans; they are native to North and Central America. Coyotes are close relatives of wolves, jacks, foxes, and dogs, though these species are smaller than wolves. There are 19 recognized subspecies of coyote, out of which three are endemic to Central America. The fur color of coyote ranges from grey-brown to reddish-brown. They have a slender and stretched snout, flat forehead, pointed ears and muzzles, bushy tail, and thick fur.

They are smaller than a grey wolf but larger than a fox. Their color varies greatly, depending on the location, e.g., in the northernmost parts of their range, they can be pale to white, and in the West, they are more likely to have reddish hue fur with black markings. The incubation period in foxes is around 52 days.

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More Coyote Information

Foxes are small-to-medium-sized animals that belong to the family Canidae. They are generally found around the cities in the Northern Hemisphere. There are around 12 species of fox found worldwide, 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. Coyotes usually live in packs. They mate in mid-January to February and have a 60-day gestation period. The female gives birth to 2-10 pups, which may survive with their mother away after seven weeks. 

Fox vs Coyote (Size): 

Coyote measures from 76 to 86 cm in lengths without the tail and weighs around 7 to 21 kg. Whereas fox measures from 45 to 70 cm in length and weighs between 2 to 11 kg. 

Fox and coyote: (Behavior and Diet)

Coyotes are more social than foxes, often living together in the extended family groups called packs. They exhibit a rich vocal collection that includes their iconic yappy howling – higher-pitched and more whooping than the deep, sustained howl of a grey wolf. North American red foxes are generally more solitary. Coyotes can hunt during the day, whereas foxes are nocturnal and are more likely to kill at night. 

Foxes and coyotes show many similarities in their eating habits, both being opportunistic omnivores and less greedy than their hulking relative to the grey wolf. Coyotes are mostly predatory as they eat and hunt large animals such as deer. 

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Following are the food items that includes in both the animal’s diet-

· Fruits

· Berries

· Snakes

· Lizards

· Carrion

· Birds

Coyote Versus Fox: (Geographical Distribution)

In the form of a variety of sub-species, foxes occupy vast areas, including much of Eurasia, North America, and North Africa. Whereas coyotes are native only to North and Central America. However, they have expanded their territory in the Eastern United States and Canada over the past century. 

Red Fox vs Coyote:

The red fox is scientifically known as Vulpes Vulpes. Out of three fox species, the red fox is the most common, which everyone is likely to see the most. A highly adaptive animal, it is found across much of North America, Europe, Asia, and survives well in built-up environments. 

A red fox exhibits the following features-

· A rusty-red back and sides; however, the coloration is variable and young ones are tan-colored.

· Black ears

· The Black lower legs 

· A long tail as long as the body with a white tip

Gray Fox vs Coyote:

The gray fox is scientifically known as Urocyon Cinereoargenteus. Gray- colored fox is a fantastic animal that belongs to a different genus or group in the animal family tree and displays some unusual traits. Like a cat, gray fox nails are docile, and it can climb trees and jump from branch to branch. It is more rarely confronted because it doesn’t wander much and tends to stick to its forest territory. 

A gray fox demonstrated the following features-

· Though its body is gray, the fox is reddish around the head and legs

· A black stripe that reaches the length of the tail and a black tail tip. 

Coyote vs Fox vs Wolf:

Coyote has a narrow and pointed face with a small nose pad. Whereas, wolves have a broad and blocky look with a large nose pad. The ears of a coyote are taller and sharp, and wolves have short and rounded ears. Coyote typically has a higher-pitched voice. However, wolves have a lower-pitched sound. Coyote usually scatters with yips, yaps, and barks, and the wolves can growl or bark. 

Fox and wolf are types of mammals belonging to the dog family. The Foxes and wolves are close relatives of domestic dogs. Foxes found all over the world except Antarctica, while wolves inherit only in the northern hemisphere. Foxes communicate with each other via growls, yelping, barking, and whining calls, whereas wolves produce loud howls.

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Coyote vs Fox: Fight Comparison

Foxes and coyotes are natural enemies as they compete for the same resources. The fact that coyote is more significant than a fox indicates that it can easily harm the fox. Both the animals are likely to compete for prey and habitat. 

A coyote is more durable than a fox, meaning that its bite could be more devastating than a fox. Based on their body size, coyotes have more robust and more extensive teeth that can harm foxes. Looking at these, a fox has limited chances of winning because of its physical features and disposition with coyotes.