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The coyote (Canis latrans) name comes from the Aztec word for the species, coyotl. The coyote was called “song dog” by American Indians and the scientific name Canis latrans means Barking Dog. It is smaller than its close relative, the grey wolf, and slightly smaller than the closely related eastern wolf and red wolf. The coyote resembles a small German shepherd dog with the exception of the long snout and bushy, black-tipped tail. The coyote is a member of the dog family and is native to California. 19 coyote subspecies are recognised in North America.
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