Difference Between Coyote and Wolf (With Table)

Multiple animals are quite alike. Dogs, coyotes, and wolves are a classic class of animals who look very similar and it is very much possible that people may not be able to identify the differences among these animals. Most difficult will be to differentiate between a coyote and a wolf as the coyote is considered a closer relative of a gray wolf.

Coyote vs Wolf

The main difference between Coyote and Wolf is that Coyote has a small nose with a narrow and pointed face, while Wolf has a large nose with a broad face.

However, the above is not the only difference. A comparison between both the terms on certain parameters can shed light on subtle aspects:


Comparison Table Between Coyote and Wolf (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of Comparison




Narrow and pointed



Small nose

Large nose


High pitched

Low pitched





Tall and pointed

Short and round


Smaller in size

Large in size


Weight is less; Around 10-50 pounds

Weight is more; Around 60-150 pounds


Smaller in height

Longer in height

Coat color

Reddish-brown or gray

Gray or black






Larger feet


Shorter having crisp edges

Fluffy and longer as much as a hand of a human being

Food choice

Can eat any type of food not just meat

Wolves only eat meat

Adaptation to humans

Coyotes have adapted to multiple environments including urban environments when humans stay

Wolves largely stay in forests


Increasing day by day and is at all-time high

They have become extinct to a certain degree


What is Coyote?

Coyote belongs to the family of Canis latrans. Coyotes are omnivorous mammals. Coyote is usually known as a shrewd and clever animal. Coyotes are found everywhere including forests, mountains, and deserts. Modern-day coyotes can also be seen in cities all over North America and have largely adapted to human environments.

The standard weight of a coyote is around 25 pounds, but some may even weigh around 50 pounds. The average length of a coyote will be around 40 to 50 inches from nose to tail. The head and body of a coyote measures around 32 to 37 inches and a tail of 16 inches.

Coyotes can eat anything. They are not just dependent on meat. Coyotes can hunt and eat rabbits, deer, frogs, fish, frogs, and snakes.  Coyotes are considered not picky about the food when it comes to diet. Coyotes usually form packs when they hunt especially in winter. Coyotes are extremely quick in running (they can run up to 40 miles per hour), possess strong vision and acute sense of smell.

The average survival age of a coyote could be 6 to 10 years or maybe even longer but commonly around 14 years. The howling of coyotes is usually in high pitched sound. Coyote feces could contain bones and hair. Coyote population is increasing day by day and is at an all-time high.

As coyotes stay in urban environments, there is a chance although less that they could be a threat to human beings and pets. It is also possible that Coyotes can attack and eat dogs. As per one study, more than 30 breeds of dogs have been pounced on by coyotes. Coyotes are commonly active during dusk and dawn. If coyotes are staying in forests, they could be subject to hunting by human beings.


What is Wolf?

Wolf is the biggest member of the Dog family or a family known as Canis lupus. Wolf is not a domesticated or cultivated animal. Wolf is known as Gray Wolf. Wolf is a carnivore.

The average length of time for which a Wolf will survive is around 6 to 8 years. Wolf is very heavily built and weighs around 40 to 175 pounds. Wolf is not suited to domestic environments as Wolf is usually a meat-eater.

Gray wolves are very common in the Northern Hemisphere. Wolf is a ferocious wild animal which is never tamed. Taming a wolf is illegal in many places. The relationship between wolf and man is fraught and characterized by conflict or opposition. The two common species of wolf are the red Wolf and Gray Wolf. The red Wolf is smaller than the gray Wolf.

Wolf is considered as one of the finest intelligent animals in this world. Wolf has certain special features such as its strong physical attributes, ability to be self-sustaining, and hunting with precision.

Wolf can also stay in groups. Wolves can live and hunt in groups and have the ability to travel large distances (maybe 20 km in a day). Wolves are considered as great team players and many videos have been shot to demonstrate the team player skills to human beings.

The best feature of wolves is that they can survive in inhospitable or uninviting atmospheres at all times. An interesting feature of Wolf is that it can continue to live or exist without eating for more than seven days. However, wolves do not eat in moderation. Wolf can consume around 20 pounds of meat at a single time.

Main Differences Between Coyote and Wolf

  1. Coyote has a narrow and pointed face. Wolf has a broad face.
  2. Coyotes are smaller in size. Wolf is larger.
  3. Coyote is shorter in height. Wolf is taller in height.
  4. Coyote ears are pointed and tall. Wolf ears are rounded and short.
  5. Coyotes can eat things apart from meat. Wolf only eats meat.
  6. Coyote stays in many environments. Wolf only stays in the forest.



Coyote and Wolf have distinct features by which they can be distinguished. However, in a panic attack on humans, there may be less time to distinguish and to take necessary action. Humans should not be wary of Wolves as wolves are mostly seen in the forest.

However, Coyotes can be a threat. But one important thing which human beings should always remember is not to run on seeing a coyote as running may trigger the prey drive of a coyote and cause the coyote to chase the human beings.


  1. hhttps://www.jstor.org/stable/3808765
  2. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1069&context=icwdm_usdanwrc