Coyotes and wolves are both pretty much the same, right? Wrong. While coyotes and wolves are both canines, they split paths on the evolutionary tree thousands of years ago, and they have diverged ever since. Coyotes are smaller, weaker, and more ancient and, as a result, are no match for the bigger, stronger, and more modern wolves.
Just have a look at this graphic below to see the slew of differences between coyotes and wolves.
The biggest coyotes weigh less than half of the biggest wolves, and their paw size is half the size of the wolves’ paw size. Yet, while some coyotes have managed to breed with wolves to form hybrids called “coywolves”, in many cases, coyotes and wolves do not get along.
For coyotes, wolves are bad news. When wolves were reintroduced to the Lamar River Valley in Yellowstone National Park in the 1990s, the coyote population declined by 39%. Similarly, in wolf inhabited areas of the Grand Teton National Park, coyote populations are 33% lower than in areas where wolves are absent.
But, if that isn’t enough to convince you that wolves are superior to coyotes, watch the video below. When a male and female coyote feeding on a carcass are jumped by a pack of ravenous wolves, they stand little chance against the vicious horde.