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Eastern Coyote Genetics

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There is a charismatic canid living in the eastern United States, and it is the result of evolution occurring right under our noses!

Over the years these coyotes have acquired a number of sensational nicknames; both “Coywolf” and “Coydog” have been growing in popularity, however, the scientific community calls them Eastern Coyotes.

Ecologist and evolutionary biologist Javier Monzón, previously at Stony Brook University in New York, now at Pepperdine University in California, analyzed the DNA of 437 eastern coyotes and found the genes contain all three canids — dog, wolf, and coyote.

According to Monzón’s research, about 64% of the eastern coyote’s genome is coyote (Canis latrans), 13% gray wolf (Canis lupus), 13% Eastern wolf (Canis lycaon), and 10% dog (Canis familiaris). Sounds like a recipe for canis soup!

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