Coyotes have extremely fine-tuned control and sensitivity of their teeth and mouths — really no different from our own fingers. The coyote in these photos has caught a cricket and carried it ever so gently in it’s mouth. She picked up the cricket and put it down several times without killing it. She wanted to watch it and spent several minutes doing so! In the end, of course, she ate it.
Watching this sensitive and fine-tuned control involving a coyote’s teeth reminded me of an incident years ago with my dog, a cattle dog who was part wild dingo, who also had the same fine minute control. Coyote sensitivity and dexterity is finer than a domestic dog’s — they require this for survival whereas a dog does not, but describing a domestic dog’s minute control can give insight into that of a coyote’s.
My dog had had an operation on her arm to remove a floating bone segment, leaving her with a six-inch scar. Two days before the veterinarian was scheduled to take out her stitches, Cinder took them out herself. There were 18 of them, and I would have stopped her except I didn’t discover that she was doing this until 15 of the stitches had already come out and the wound remained closed. So I watched as she took out the last three. It was unbelievable! She worked about 5 minutes on EACH of those last stitches, not touching the skin at all. The stitches were “snipped” when she had manipulated them into position with her teeth.
I immediately drove her to the veterinary office, fearing she might have done damage. The vet said that Cinder knew it was time for those stitches to come out and that she had done an incredibly good job of it.
Interesting beyond the coyote’s fine and gentle handling of the cricket with her teeth is that this coyote was fascinated by the cricket and its movements, and spent several minutes absorbed in watching it and moving it several times.