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Old May 31, 2006, 08:56 AM   #5
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Posts: 11,550
Coyotes are in the Order Carnivora. They are carnivores. Bears are in the Order Carnivora. They are omnivores. Odd, no? Grasshopper mice are in the Order Rodentia, typically denoted by herbivores such as mice, rats, and squirrels. Squirrels are herbivores.

Now for the kicker. The scientific or general classification of an animal as a carnivore does NOT mean its diet is void of other types of food. Dogs and coyotes are closely related and you will find both eating garbage, anything good, not just flesh.

Grasshopper mice are regarded by some SW Native Americans as tiny wolves. They are carnivorous, sometimes hunt in packs, and "howl" as they rise up on hind legs.

Joan Callahan published a great paper on squirrel carnivory in the Great Basin Naturalist. She noted a reviewer of her paper commented on how poor squirrels were at being carnivores and she pointed out, quite eloquently, that leopards or cheetahs had something like a 90% failure rate in procuring game and that as such and even as being thought of a great carnivores, they weren't very good at being carnivores based on their failure rate in hunting (Callahan, J. R. 1993. Squirrels as predators. Great Basin Naturalist 53:137-144)

FYI, here is a nifty study specfically denoting the love of persimmons and blackberries by coyotes...

Like people, many animals will eat whatever tastes good and is available. They may have diets dominated by certain types of food most of the year, but may have food dominated by non-typical foods at other times. If the persimmons or whatever are at a good time to eat, the coyotes may be utilizing a yummy, non aggressive food source while available. Persimmons aren't likely to fight back, hence little risk to the coyotes from the plants.
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher." -- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
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