Friday, March 9, 2018

Common Misidentification

The misidentification of this species is common.  Encounters often happen in a scene where human gather to observe a passing coyote, like the one where I captured this image. Correct identification can be difficult. I am referring to the misidentification of the human species in the wilds. You will know them by their howls "wolf, wolf" when a coyote is present.  These humans fall into two sub-species categories, the imalwaysright urwrong, and the idontknowthat wowthanks.

When addressing the imalwaysright urwrong, it is best not engage once identified. This sub-species is abrasive, have been known to become aggressive when a "coyote" call counters the "wolf" cries.  I have found the best reaction is to remain calm, slowly back away while issuing a distracting statement, "and did you see the coyote, too?"  Discontinue all interaction. Do not make further eye contact. Immediately seek a new location.

The Idontknowthat wowthanks is better suited to adapt and comprehend when presented with a different call.   An additional factual statement like, "its ears are taller and pointed unlike a wolf's that are shorter and rounded," makes their head tilts inquisitively. This group will relax and be attentive as if they are trying to gain knowledge for future use. This amicable sub-species is safe to feed information, "the coyote's muzzle is narrow or slender and pointed, while the wolf's muzzles are shorter and blockier."  Most will remain open and eager to learn. However,  few have shown a submissive demeanor by dropping their head.  Speaking in a reassuring voice to the wistful human, "misidentifying wolves for coyotes is a common mistake."  Slow, pleasant movements and vocalization is the best reaction.

Understanding the differences between the two sub-species will aid in proper identifications.
Coyote in the snow, Yellowstone NP/Elle Pollard 2018

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