Gathering Information and Curiosity

While sitting in a depression on a rock,  I observed and photographed a young coyote. When the coyote moved, I moved away from my perch to get a better angle. Then something kind of fun happened. The coyote walked back over to where I had been perched, looked at me in my new location, as if he were making a connection, and proceeded to intently sniff where I had previously been sitting. He went over the place pretty thoroughly with his nose and then turned to looked at me one more time as if to confirm what he had just found out about me.  He then walked off, not even bothering to “mark” or “trump” my scent. I wonder if I don’t count for much!

I’m trying to speculate what kind of information a coyote might have tried to pick up about me? Within their own species various bits of identifying information could be obtained by scent, such as whether male or female, reproductive status or availability, aggressiveness, if it was a juvenile, something about diet. But my being outside of its own species, I wondered what kind of information it might have been looking for? Or, maybe it hadn’t been seeking any particular information, but rather sniffing out any clue which might have revealed a better understanding about me?

As with dogs, coyotes often go over to sniff out where they’ve smelled or seen another dog or coyote. But I’ve not seen dogs perform this ritual on humans.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Out Walking the Dog
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 21:36:38

    What a fascinating observation!

    Reply

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