Coyotes can now call every state (except Hawaii) home. Increased sightings of coyotes in Eastern cities and suburbs signals a return of large predators to the region, possibly filling a niche once held by a larger canid, the wolf.
The suburbs and cities serve up plenty of food for these omnivores. Coyotes feed on garbage, garden produce, road kill, even domestic dogs and cats!
Most Eastern coyotes are heavier and larger than those that live out west. Eastern coyotes are descended from coyotes that once lived in the Great Lakes region. Animals from northern climates are often larger because a larger body size helps them survive cold winters.
Senior Scientist, Mammalogist
Robert Hoffmann began his Smithsonian career in 1986 as director of the National Museum of Natural History. He joined the Vertebrate Zoology staff in 1996.
As lead scientist for the new Mammals Hall, Robert Hoffmann helped ensure the scientific integrity of the exhibit. His knowledge about how mammals adapted to change over time shaped the exhibit’s geographic orientation, which features mammals from nine habitats on four continents.
This emphasis grew out of Bob’s research on the evolution and adaptations of mammals in northern environments. During his career, he has visited remote areas of the northern hemisphere, including Siberia and China. “ I got interested in shrews because they are very widespread across very different habitats,” explained Bob. “And voles? There are just so many of them.”
© 2006 Smithsonian Institution