Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History
Despite a physical resemblance to dogs, the coyote has never been considered man’s best friend. When the first references to the ‘prairie wolf’ found their way into the journals of early explorers like Thomas Nuttall and Meriwether Lewis, their range was virtually limited to the Plains. In the past century or so the coyote has spread his metaphorical wings and found a path to New York’s Central Park as well as across the United States and from Canada and Mexico.
Author Dan Flores delves into the ecology of the coyote historically, geographically, and anthropologically relishing the American Indian myths where, he suggests, the coyote may serve as an avatar. In recounting the tales of several tribes he points out the animal’s biological and environmental flexibility, adaptation by producing large litters, and an undiscriminating appetite though showing a preference for rats and mice.
Among writers closer to the present day, he cites conservationist Aldo Leopold whose writing has influenced generations of naturalists, and the polymath Ernest Thompson Seton whose children’s books wove anthropomorphic coyotes and other wildlife in a manner less favored today but popular among young readers.
Flores shares his knowledge vigorously, sometimes adding wit to his significant wisdom. With this book the maligned coyote has at last earned respect.
|Page Count||288 pages|
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|Category||Science & Nature|