Wolf Vs Coyote: 5 Key Differences

In the article “Wolf Vs Coyote: 5 Key Differences” by Wildlife Informer, readers are introduced to the main distinctions between wolves and coyotes. Although they may bear some resemblance to one another, especially to those unfamiliar with their characteristics, the article aims to shed light on the unique attributes of each animal. Beginning with brief descriptions of wolves and coyotes, the article proceeds to outline five key differences, including size, appearance, vocalization, hunting behavior, and the unlikely scenario of a face-to-face fight. While both belong to the Canis family and share certain traits, such as body structure, fur color, and a carnivorous diet, the contrasts between the two animals become evident when closely examined. Wolves are larger, hunt in packs, prefer fresh kills, and have deeper vocalizations, while coyotes are smaller, hunt solo, scavenge for food, and possess higher-pitched voices. By providing valuable insights and fostering a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter, this article offers readers an engaging exploration of the fascinating disparities between wolves and coyotes.

Key Differences




Hunting Behavior

Who would win in a fight?

When comparing the wolf and the coyote, it’s important to note that they are two of the few wild dogs in North America. Although they may appear similar to the untrained eye, there are several key differences between these animals. In this article, we will explore the contrasting features of wolves and coyotes, as well as examine a few similarities. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of what sets these two species apart.


One of the most noticeable differences between wolves and coyotes is their size. Wolves are significantly larger than coyotes. An adult male coyote can weigh up to 47 pounds, while an adult male wolf can weigh up to 120 pounds. Coyotes can reach a height of 24 inches at the shoulder, while wolves can stand as tall as 32 inches at the shoulder. In terms of length, coyotes can grow up to 4.5 feet long, whereas wolves can reach lengths of up to 6.5 feet. Therefore, wolves surpass coyotes in terms of height, weight, and length.


Apart from their size, wolves and coyotes also differ in their appearance. Wolves have rounder and broader faces, while coyotes have longer and more narrow snouts. A coyote’s face is often said to resemble that of a fox rather than a wolf. Additionally, coyotes have longer and pointier ears compared to wolves. In terms of fur color, coyotes typically have lighter fur than wolves. Overall, the facial and body features of wolves and coyotes are distinct from each other.


The pitch of their vocalizations is another key difference between wolves and coyotes. While both species howl, growl, and bark, they have different vocal ranges. Coyotes are known for their high-pitched yips, barks, and whines. On the other hand, wolves have a deeper form of vocalization that is often more drawn out. The varying pitches of their vocalizations contribute to the unique sounds that each species produces.

Hunting Behavior

Hunting behavior is another area where wolves and coyotes diverge. Wolves are pack animals and hunt in groups, which allows them to take down larger prey, such as bison. They work together to coordinate their attack and bring down the target. Coyotes, on the other hand, typically hunt alone or in pairs. While they may attempt to hunt prey that is larger than themselves, they tend to focus on smaller animals. It’s worth noting that coyotes are also known to scavenge and eat carrion, while wolves primarily hunt for fresh meat.

Who would win in a fight?

The question of who would win in a fight between a wolf and a coyote is a common one. Given their size and strength, wolves have a clear advantage over coyotes. Wolves are much bigger and more powerful, making a fight between the two species unfair. Additionally, wolves often hunt in packs, while coyotes are typically solitary animals. This means that the odds of a one-on-one fight between a wolf and a coyote are low. Although a coyote may be able to run away from a fight due to its slightly faster speed and endurance, it stands little chance against a mighty wolf.

How are they the same?

Despite their differences, wolves and coyotes share some similarities. Both species belong to the Canis family, which is why they have similar body structures. Although coyotes are usually lighter in color, they can still have fur colors that overlap with wolves, including gray, black, or brown. Both wolves and coyotes have thick fur, long tails, and sharp teeth. Additionally, both species have a primarily carnivorous diet, although their hunting methods and prey preferences differ.


In conclusion, wolves and coyotes have several key differences that set them apart. While they may have similar body structures and colors, the most noticeable distinction is their size. Wolves are significantly larger and heavier than coyotes. They also possess rounder faces and broader features compared to the more pointed and narrow snouts of coyotes. Vocalizations vary between the two species, with wolves producing deeper sounds and coyotes emitting high-pitched yips and barks. Wolves hunt in packs and prefer fresh kills, while coyotes often hunt alone and scavenge for food. Lastly, due to their size and pack hunting behavior, wolves would likely win in a fight against a coyote. Despite these differences, wolves and coyotes both belong to the Canis family and share some similarities in terms of body structure, fur color, and diet.


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Wildlife Informer provides readers with free information and pictures of various types of wildlife and exotic pets. Their goal is to share knowledge about animals and nature, offering helpful tips and guides on different topics related to wildlife. Their website covers a wide range of categories, including mammals, reptiles and amphibians, birds, fish, plants and trees, and more. If you’re interested in learning about wildlife, Wildlife Informer is the place to go.

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