(Mirror Daily, United States) – America’s top dog predator and its newest animal, the wolf-coyote hybrid is here.
Nature will always find a way, so they said in Jurassic Park. Apparently, they were right. For the past two hundred years, coyotes have been mating with wolves, the North-American type. But they’ve also bred with dogs, the large kind, usually owned by farmers. What was the result of all that gene mixture? The answer can only be the coywolf.
Scientists who have studied the immensely interesting animal believe it all started a few hundreds of years ago, when human dwellings expanded so much they threatened the wolf’s natural habitat. They got pushed out of it and, as a consequence, their numbers decreased. This also might be the reason they started mating with coyotes in the first place – in order to create a stronger, more resilient specimen and to insure the breed doesn’t die out.
Also interesting is the rapidity with which they are now breeding and expanding their territory. Scientists say we now have somewhere along the lines of one million coywolves living in North America. But, as mentioned, their territory is expanding. They have infiltrated the north-east side as well, including the urban regions (yes, you read it well), and they are continuing to expand towards the south-east. Researchers also say this is amazing because the pure breed coyotes on their own, never made it east of the prairies.
So it really does look like we have a superspecies on our hands, nature created all by herself. Usually, the mixing up of such genes produces cubs that are less powerful than their parents, but this is not the coywolf’s case. Studies show that they are a lot stronger and agile than classic coyotes, a trait they seem to have inherited from dogs, like the German Shepard and the Doberman.
Also, they present faster legs, their jaws are stronger and larger, and have enough muscle mass to hunt a small deer. Actually, there are records of packs of coywolves that have taken down a moose.
But coming back to the urban areas they inhabit, research shows they did indeed penetrate the cities. At least twenty of them have been spotted in New York City, mainly in the Bronx. Coywolves have also been seen in Washington DC, Boston and Toronto.
What impact the fact that we seem to share a habitat will have on both parties – humans and coywolves- is yet not determined.
Image Source: www.thirteen.org
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