A Coyote’s Appearance Changes Over Time

I’ve become aware that over time, a coyote’s appearance can change considerably. One of the coyotes which I have been following over time would have been absolutely unrecognizable to me from when I first encountered her, were it not for the fact that I’ve kept up with her — her behavior remains the same. I thought it might be interesting to post some photos to show the change.

This coyote went through a change of color from browner to more silver, her markings became more prominent, facial look filled out so that the ears and eyes don’t appear as prominent as before, she grew a winter coat in the fall which she will shed in the springtime — this makes her appear larger, she gained weight in the fall — could this be due to aging or is it cyclical?

Note that in photo #1, taken in June, she is very thin, and she actually had a “mane” on her neck from her shoulders up to her head. Over the next few months this was shed — it may be that she sheds this part of her coat last. The first three photos were taken in the summer. She had been cooped up in her den with newborn pups prior to these summer months — we know this because she was obviously lactating when she emerged, and her body fat had obviously been depleted. The last three photos were taken the following fall and winter — she gained weight and she had a winter coat. I think all the changes I have noted here are due to aging, the seasonal changes and to being a mother.

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