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Nice photo. From a thumbnail version the coyote looked rather real.
I see it was taken at the UMNH. I’ll be going to Salt Lake City soon for conference and was thinking of going there in my possible spare time. Would you recommend it?
Dallas; Yes, definitely stop by. I was really quite impressed with the museum, especially its “bugs” exhibit and the vertebrate paleontology hall. In addition to neat little hands-on stations there are many Utah-specific exhibits/mounts, such as remains of a Tyrannosaurus from that state and a restoration of Falcarius. There is a viewing window into the paleo lab downstairs, too, and overall I would say that a visit is definitely worth it.
Is there a scale to that picture? My coyotes are the size of 40 to 70 pound dogs. I hope I don’t run into one with that attitude. Around here they are usually shy (but not scared of humans), and when one takes a pet cat or dog it makes the news.
Joe; Sorry, I don’t have much to help with scale there or provide exact measurements, but it seemed to be an average sized coyote (around two feet at the shoulder).
And although the mount is expressive (that’s part of the reason I took the photo) it is very different from how I saw coyotes act during my trip to Utah, the Tetons, and Yellowstone. If I remember correctly I saw three on that trip, all at a very respectable distance, and all of which paid me no attention whatsoever. They were more concerned with getting breakfast/lunch (I observed two of them “mousing” in long grass) than the human snapping photos.
They have done pretty well in the suburbs and cities, though. Even though they prefer to live in more wooded areas (parks and cemeteries) many cities now have coyote populations. You just don’t hear about them much until one runs into an elevator, hops on a train, or wanders into a sandwich shop.
Interesting pose for a natural history museum — I’m guessing whoever designed that display wasn’t too eager to curb anyone’s dislike of “big” predators
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