Why coyotes and badgers hunt together | MNN - Mother Nature Network
This is a Coyote, or C. Latrans. This is an American Badger, or Taxidea Taxus. Minta et al. () timed over Badger-Coyote Assossiations. Studies have shown that this unusual relationship is beneficial for both species. The coyote can chase down prey if it runs and the badger can. Today, coyotes reside almost everywhere in North America not Both coyotes and badgers love to eat prairie dogs and ground squirrels.A Badger and a Coyote Hunting Together
Instead, it all boils down to energy savings. Badgers and coyotes conserve energy by sharing the workload of trapping elusive and fast-moving prey. Likewise, each animal takes advantage of the other's hunting adaptations.
Coyotes have keener eyesight for spotting prey than badgers. On the other hand, badgers can sniff out prey underground.
Badger and Coyote hunt together | Natural History
A frightened squirrel bursts forth from a burrowing hole to escape the badger's prying claws. And little does that furry rodent know that a coyote is waiting for this very moment.
It spies the squirrel scrambling away and pounces eagerly. But doesn't the badger get the short end of the stick? The tables can turn quickly in the prairie and desert ecosystems.
If a hungry coyote chases around a prairie dog, for instance, the badger can benefit. The prairie dog dashes into its burrow, and the badger digs down quickly near the entrance and snags it.
And it was captured in photos, both by a wildlife camera trap and by sharp-eyed photographers: A field camera caught this amazing shot, which shows the coyote and badger trotting across the landscape with a prairie dog looking on in the foreground. It was familiar to many Native Americans long before Europeans reached the continent, and scientists have studied it for decades.
Do coyotes and badgers work together to find food?
It has been reported across much of Canada, the United States and Mexico, according to Ecology Onlinetypically with one badger hunting alongside one coyote. In one study at the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming, 90 percent of all coyote-badger hunts featured one of each animal, while about 9 percent involved one badger with two coyotes.
Just 1 percent saw a lone badger join a coyote trio. But why would these predators work together at all?
Badger-Coyote Associations - Cooperative Hunting by Two Predators
When one of them finally catches something, they aren't known to share the spoils. So what's the point? Working together helps each species pursue prey more effectively.
Even if that means the other one ends up empty-handed, the partnership seems to pay off for both species in the long run. Each member of the hunting party has a distinct set of skills. Coyotes are nimble and quick, so they excel at chasing prey across an open prairie.