Difference Between Coyotes and Foxes

By: | Updated: Jul-18, 2021

Coyotes and foxes are two different types of animals. They have many similarities between them. For example, both of these animals are carnivores. They also belong to the same family, Canidae. However, there are also some differences between the two animals.

Aside from these few similarities and differences, there are also other important terms that you need to know about coyotes and foxes. In this article, we will discuss the difference between coyotes and foxes in detail. We will also discuss the other differences between coyotes and foxes, their characteristics, their behavior, and their habitat. Let’s begin.

Summary Table:

Coyotes Foxes
Scientific name: Canis latrans Scientific name: Vulpes vulpes
Bigger, have longer legs and tails Smaller, have shorter legs and tails
Found in many parts of the world including North America, South America, Central America and Asia Found in open areas such as plains and deserts in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia

Definitions:

Difference Between Coyotes and Foxes

Before we talk about the differences between “coyotes” and “foxes”, let’s first define what we mean by “coyotes” and “foxes.” To do this, we need to take a look back at the definitions and meanings of these two words, the different Canidae species, and how they relate to each other.

What are coyotes?

Coyotes are also known as prairie dogs, roadrunners, or wood rats. Their scientific name is Canis latrans. They have been known to inhabit the Western United States, including California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. They can be found anywhere from North America to Argentina. Their body length is usually between 5-10 inches and their weight is around 15-35 pounds.

Their fur color varies with the area they inhabit; some coyotes have white fur while others have a dark brown color. Their eyes are yellow or orange, and their ears are rounded and floppy. They have a dark muzzle with lighter colored fur around the muzzle.

The coyote’s body is covered in short hair, which ranges from white to brown in color. Its legs are long and powerful, enabling it to run at speeds of 30 miles per hour. It has a large head, which is covered in fur. Its tail is bushy and long, making it look like a brush or brush handle.

Coyotes are carnivores, meaning they eat meat, fish, insects and other animals. They mainly eat rabbits, rodents, birds and deer. They hunt in packs of 5-10 animals and are often mistaken for wolves.

What are foxes?

The fox is one of the canines, which includes the dog, wolf, coyote and other animals that live in this group, with the scientific name Vulpes vulpes. They are native to Europe, Asia and North America. Their body length is between 5-10 inches and their weight is around 15-35 pounds.

Their fur color varies with the area they inhabit; some foxes have white fur while others have a dark brown or reddish orange color. Their eyes are usually blue or gray, and their ears are rounded and floppy. They also have a black muzzle with a lighter colored fur around the muzzle.

Foxes are also animals that are carnivores, meaning they eat meat, fish, insects and other animals. They mainly eat rabbits, rodents, birds and deer. Foxes look similar to wolves, but they are smaller and lighter in color.

Foxes are territorial animals that live in small groups called a “clan”. They also hunt in packs of 5-10 animals and live up to 20 years old. They are powerful runners and are good climbers.

Coyotes Vs. Foxes:

As you may know, there are several words that have a similar meaning. For example, “coyotes” and “foxes” are both used to describe large Canidae family of animals that usually have reddish-brown fur, sharp teeth, and a short tail. However, as mentioned above, there are also differences between coyotes and foxes. Let’s take a look at them.

Appearance

Foxes have a small tail that is less than one-third of their body length, ears that can be folded forward, a bushy tail that is usually darker on the bottom than the top, and legs that are shorter than their body length.

Coyotes have a short tail that is usually lighter in color on the top than on the bottom, large ears with hair at the tips of their ears. Their tails are usually brown or black. Their legs are longer than their body length.

Coyotes have longer legs and tails. They have pointed ears and short muzzles. Their tail is about a third of their body length, but it is usually longer than their body length. They have long, sharp teeth and a large mouth with powerful jaws that can open to 180 degrees.

Foxes have shorter legs and tails. They have rounded ears and muzzles that are smaller than their eyes. Their tail is usually longer than their body length, but it is shorter than the length of their head. They have small teeth with rounded edges and a short mouth with not so powerful jaws.

Behavior

They both eat small animals such as rodents, rabbits, birds, snakes, fish, and insects. However, foxes do not eat anything larger than a cat. Coyotes are mainly nocturnal animals that live in packs and hunt for food at night. Foxes are more solitary and spend most of their time hunting small animals.

Habitat

Coyotes live in deserts, grasslands, forests, mountains and prairies. They are found in many parts of the world including North America, South America, Central America and Asia. Foxes live mainly in open areas such as plains and deserts. They are found in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

Size

Coyotes are usually bigger than foxes. Their length ranges from 3 to 5 feet, and their height ranges from 24 to 32 inches. Foxes are about the same size as coyotes, but as mentioned above, they have a shorter tail and legs. Their length ranges from 30 to 38 inches, and their height ranges from 9 to 12 inches.

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