Urban coyotes are loyal to their mates (Video)
A study was conducted by Ohio State University of coyotes living in and near Chicago that revealed that coyotes mate for life. The study also suggests that their monogamy has helped them to thrive in urban areas, as they are doing all over the country.
What they found, by genetically testing 236 coyotes living in the Chicago area over six years, was that there was no evidence of polygamy. This was despite the fact that there are as many as 2,000 coyotes that live in the area, which is plentiful with food for them.
The loyalty of coyotes to their mates may be a key to their success in urban areas, because the males help their mates raise their large litters of pups. According to researcher Stan Gehrt, a wildlife ecologist with Ohio State's School of Environment and Natural Resources, "The male spends just as much time helping to raise those pups as the female does."
They also found that some of the tracked couples were together for up to 10 years, until one of them died. Senior author Cecilia Hennessy expressed her surprise at this finding by saying, "You'd think, based on previous investigations of dog behavior, that cheating would be likely, but to find no evidence whatsoever of anything that wasn't monogamy, I was very surprised by that."
Whether or not this type of monogamous behavior is also found in rural areas is yet to be discovered. "Only additional studies in other areas will show if this is part of coyote breeding behavior regardless of environment or location," said biologist Suzanne Prange, with the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
Seems like once again humans could take a tip or two from the animal world. The video below shows the mating behavior of a coyote pair.
VIDEO Mating Coyotes Become Inseparable