Looking Very Scrawny, and Might There Be A Vestigial Mane?

Heavy coyote winter coats have been shed, and what remains are much sparser and shorter summer coats. With this reduced coat, you can actually see how scrawny a coyote really is: ribs, spine and hip bones all poke out very visibly. This is normal. You’ll notice that coyotes are not lacking in energy that might result from malnutrition. The “skin and bones” aspect is just the way they are. My son changed the diet of his dog to a macrobiotic raw meat one, and for a while the dog looked like a starvation victim, no matter how much he ate. Raw meat just doesn’t put a lot of fat on animals. Coyotes need to be thin to retain their quick and sprightly movements.

Am I seeing a very small and sparse vestigial mane on some of the coyotes?  I only see it sometimes, but I’ve noticed it several times now. It consists of longer hairs on a sparse thin ridge right down the center of the neck, beginning at the base of the skull and running to the top of the back. [Update: As it turns out, coyotes help the shedding process by scratching with their hind feet as far as they can reach up their backs. They are able to reach all the hairs on their back except the tiny line of hair in the middle — and this is what looks like a “vestigial mane”.  But it’s not that. It’s simply hairs they couldn’t reach to scratch off during shedding season!  :))]

I’ve seen coyote coats in May – June – July which appear as though they included a full lion-type mane around the entire neck. However, this is only how it appears. This appearance is due to the way the winter coat is shed — it seems that the thick winter fur of the neck area is shed last and therefore looks like a heavy mane sometimes during these months.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Reagan
    Oct 16, 2022 @ 23:39:07

    Hi great reading yourr post


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