Meet the Coywolf: Nature’s Next Top Dog?

“However, what’s interesting is that this has never truly been proven. In fact, coyotes and grey wolves famously don’t get along, bullying one another out of regions despite the fact that they only share some, and not all, resources.

“A study published in the Canadian Journal of Zoology back in 2000 revealed that there is a chance that grey wolves and timber wolves from different parts of North America are two separate species entirely. That then lead experts to the theory that the timber wolf is a wolf species that specifically evolved from a coyote-like ancestor, while grey wolves emigrated to North America over the Bering Strait. Such a theory could explain why timber wolves (sometimes called “eastern wolves”) can hybridize into the Eastern coyote despite what appears to be a base hatred between grey wolves and North America’s smaller canine.

“Still, a paper published in Heredity, a Nature publication, back in 2010 revealed that Eastern wolf and coyote populations often boast genetic information specific to timber wolf fathers and coyote mothers. This raised a new set of questions: was the timber wolf actually once a hybridization between coyotes and grey wolves? Does that then mean the coywolf is a hybridized hybrid?”

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