Tick’ed Off

This video is a long one, four and a half minutes. One coyote is removing ticks from the other, and the other is enjoying the exquisite attention and massage, closing its eyes to relish this personal grooming session. The behavior not only serves the purpose of removing unhealthy ticks, it serves to strengthen the social bond between these two. The affection between these two is tremendous.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbara Knupp
    Aug 01, 2012 @ 20:10:04

    Is there some type of pecking order involved with this grooming ritual? Very interesting as the ticks are quite bad here this year and I’ve wondered how the coyotes could survive a severe infestation.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Aug 01, 2012 @ 21:03:09

      The coyote doing the grooming was the alpha in the past — this one is definitely the smarter and the wiser of the two. However, I haven’t seen any behaviors that indicate one or the other is dominant now. They definitely are best friends. I do know that establishing dominance does not always involve a fight. More often than not, each coyote chooses its “place” in a group through sheer force of personality. I’ve wondered what the hierarchy might be now.

      Reply

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