While wolves are incredible predators which hunt large animals but do they also eat coyotes? If so, why? Here’s why.
While wolves and coyotes seem pretty much the same, they are quite different from each other. In fact, if you haven’t seen one of them, watching them you would probably assume they are the same. Not only they are not the same but they are also competitors of each other and even kill each other.
The Short Answer…
Despite both predators, wolves do not typically eat coyotes unless food is scarce or when they fight. Wolves do not primarily feeds on coyotes but when there is little to no food, wolves will eat anything they can including coyotes. However, coyotes cannot eat wolves as wolves are stronger and more powerful than them. In addition to that, wolves also live and hunt in packs that can eat coyotes even easier and not be ripped by coyotes. A wolf eats around 9 kilograms of food in one meal.
Do Wolves Eat Coyotes or Coyotes Eat Wolves?
While its normal to see predators fighting and scaring others but it’s quite rare to see predators kill or eat others. However, sometimes it happens due to little or no food. The same goes for wolves eating coyotes and coyotes eat wolves. These two predators do not typically eat each other until they are compelled to do so. That is only in food scarcity and violent fight. But the question is which one eats the other? Well, mostly wolves rip coyotes. Here’s why.
Not only wolves are 3 times larger and 4 – 5 times more powerful but they are also stronger and more violent. In addition to it, wolves live and hunt in a group, unlike coyotes which live in a group but hunts alone. Usually, when they see each other, coyotes start running away and wolves start chasing it. But that doesn’t mean it wants to eat it.
Most of the time, wolves chase and move it away, or if violent maybe fight with it but not eat it. Even if it catches it, wolves won’t kill or would want to eat it instead it would fight and maybe bite it to stop it from taking its food.
However, coyotes also eat wolves when they die or are severely injured left alone. But that doesn’t mean wolves are never hunted by coyotes, in fact, if a group of coyotes rushes on wolves, chances are it will kill the wolf. other than that, wolves have its natural predators despite being apex predator like hawks, see what eat hawks.
Some of the animals that eat wolves are grizzly bears, polar bears, Siberian tigers, scavengers, and humans
Why Wolves Do Not Eat Coyotes Often or Why Predators Do Not Eat Other Predators?
Predators do not typically predate on other predators because it is nowhere easy to hunt another predator no matter if its from their own species or another. It is way more dangerous and difficult to kill another predator like lions killing lions is extremely difficult and dangerous and would also lose more energy than it would get from eating it. The easier the prey, the better. That’s why predators often hunt herbivores which is quite easier than carnivores just like raccoons eating squirrels or pigeons eating insects and readymade meat.
Another reason why wolves do not eat coyotes is wolves eating coyotes do not get as much energy as they would from herbivores. Energy in the wild is crucial. And has a science behind it which every animal is after to. The primary source of food (energy) is plants which comes from the sun. Herbivores get energy from plants by eating it but far less energy from the entire amount usually around 10%.
However, when a herbivore is eaten by carnivores, it only receives 10% of the herbivore’s energy which is 1% of the original energy that the plants had. And so when a wolf kills coyotes, it only has 10% of the energy that herbivores have even less than that. Here’s a detailed explanation to it.
That’s the same for wolves eating coyotes. That means wolves do not typically hunt coyotes or any other predator as they are not as easy to kill as herbivores unless there is a lack of food like in the north or fight which typically happens over food or territory. In extreme food scarcity, wolves may eat other wolves just like polar bears. Although carnivores, they also eat plants, vegetables and fruits and even chocolate.
When & Why Do Wolves Kill & Eat Coyotes?
Often, when wolves catch prey, coyotes will come to snatch their food just like foxes. And that’s when the clash happens. That’s when wolves will scare coyotes and if caught, wolves may even kill it but not often. Even if they kill it, they won’t likely This isn’t the only problem they have with coyotes. In fact, every predator has the same problem with other predators especially lions and cheetahs with hyenas and wild dogs.
Not only on land but it also happens in water and sky. Birds predators and water predators are also included in this case.
Another reason when and why wolves may eat coyotes is when there is very little food. As wolves live in mountain areas, deserts, and gravel plains where food is hard to find, if they find no herbivores and see coyotes, they will eat coyotes despite having little energy than herbivores.
How Do Wolves Kill/Eat/Fight Coyotes?
How they clash is very similar to other predators. If coyotes enter wolves’ territory or try to snatch their food, wolves will fight back and may kill it, especially when food is scarce. If you don’t know, wolves are highly territorial and defend their territory against other wolves and also other predators. And for defending it, they do more than just brawling and baring of their teeth.
In addition to that, wolves acquire larger territories than they live in. It mainly depends on the amount of prey available in the territory. Wolves have a good sense of smell about 100 times more than us. In addition to it, they also mark their territory so if a stranger, predator steps into their territory, they will become aware and attack it and even kill and eat it.
Nonetheless, if coyotes do it, they will be punished. Here’s how. (See the video)
Why Coyotes Are Thriving?
As far as wolves do not typically hunt and eat coyotes, coyotes are thriving across the country. In many states, people have either reported watching coyotes around their homes or having their pets eaten like herbivores, birds, and small animals but not dogs. Animals like dogs are bigger than coyotes and can’t eat them.
Coyotes do not have territory and live everywhere. That lets them enter into the countryside or even cities and thrive on human food + pets, chicken farms, herbivores, and more. Dangerous for people, wolves will decrease the number of coyotes bringing them where coyotes are.
Wolves are steeped in legends throughout history. The powerful nature predators pierce its preys into pieces. However, if coyotes come in front of it, wolves won’t give it a chance and will rip it not usually eat it. Because wolves are not feeding on coyotes or other predators. Neither it is easy nor it has the nutrition. But if they have less or no food, they will eat coyotes or any other predator even humans in case of hunger especially when they have pups.