Coming Up For Air

Swimmers have to come up for air, or they’ll get water in their lungs. Coyotes, too, have to come up for air, or they’ll get dirt in their lungs — or maybe not enough air into their lungs. Watch the coyote stuff his snout deep into the hole, and then lift it out just enough to get fresh air, and then stuff it back in, and repeat this sequence several times.This video clip shows three instances of coming up for air, and also some intense digging.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lm
    Dec 10, 2012 @ 13:46:08

    It’s coyote-snorkeling, or maybe better-put, coyote-spearfishing!


  2. Charles Wood
    Dec 10, 2012 @ 20:45:45

    Their sense of smell also guides the direction of their digging. The rodent hole may have twists and turns and digging will knock down the course way of the hole. Smell and probing “dis-covers” the passage again. If digging reveals that the course way has branches, smell can tell the coyote which branch is best to dig out. There is some real problem sovling going on here.

    When digging out such a hole, I’ve seen my dog use his lungs like bellows. With his head in a partially dug out hole, he breaths in deeply to fill his lungs with air. Then he quickly blows all his air out his nose and into the hole. The blowing air moves dirt and lifts scents. He then sniffs those plumes of air and inspects for what blown away dirt has revealed. If he still can’t decide which way to dig, he continues to exhale quick bursts of air into the hole area. I’m sure the rodent has long been far away in another passage. It may smell close and reachable, but my bet is it usually is neither.


    • yipps
      Dec 10, 2012 @ 21:08:02

      Really interesting, Charles! I would never have known that he’s actually blowing! I’ll try to be aware of this from now on. Janet

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