East coast coyotes larger than western counterparts

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The future of the coyotes that roam from Newfoundland to Virginia could hinge on the animals becoming the "wolves" of the East Coast.

Coyotes have lived in the East since the 1930s, and recent genetic tests have shown they are actually a mixture of coyote, wolf and dog. That's why Eastern coyotes tend to be bigger than their Western cousins.

And scientists say they might be getting genetically closer to wolves, helping them become better predators and thrive in urban areas including New York City and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and the woods of Maine. That means people will need to learn to coexist with them.

Larger Eastern coyotes might also become more effective predators of the region's plentiful white-tailed deer, experts say.

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