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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Journals Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

Coyote

Capt. Clark, September 18, 1804--I Killed a Prarie Wollf, about the Size of a gray fox bushey tail head & ears like a Wolf, Some Fur Burrows in the ground and barks like a Small Dog.

What has been taken heretofore for the Fox was these Wolves, and no Foxes has been Seen . . .

Capt. Lewis, May 5, 1805-- the small woolf or burrowing dog of the praries are the inhabitants almost invariably of the open plains; they usually associate in bands of ten or twelve sometimes more and burrow near some pass or place much frequented by game; not being able alone to take a deer or goat they are rarely ever found alone but hunt in bands; they frequently watch and seize their prey near their burrows; in these burrows they raise their young and to them they also resort when pursued; when a person approaches them they frequently bark, their note being precisely that of the small dog. they are of an intermediate size between that of the fox and dog, very active fleet and delicately formed; the ears large erected and pointed the head long and pointed more like that of the fox; the tail long and bushey; the hair and fur also resembles the fox tho' is much coarser and inferior. they are of a pale redish brown colour. the eye of a deep sea green colour small and piercing their tallons are reather longer than those of the ordinary wolf or that common to the atlantic States, none of which are to be found in this quarter, nor I believe above the river Plat.

 
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