Coyote and Badger Form Charming Odd Couple to Help Each Other Hunt

Coyote and Badger Friendship

Photo: Kimberly Fraser, USFWS

When it comes to dynamic duos, perhaps one of the most unusual pairings we've heard of is the coyote and badger. Every once in a while, videos of these animals hunting together make the rounds online, causing people to wonder just how this odd couple works. The answer is mutualism. Defined as a beneficial relationship between two different species that helps both survive, it's the phenomenon that brings these animals together.

Specifically, coyotes and badgers are often found hunting together during the summer. Each animal helps balance the other and together they form a well-rounded hunter that can more easily take down prey. Quick coyotes can chase down fleeing animals, while badgers can go after prey that burrow underground. It's been shown that by working in tandem, both species are more successful hunters than if they went it alone.

Of course, this doesn't mean that they always work together. For instance, during the winter, badgers can find prey more easily. They simply burrow into the dens of hibernating animals and have their feast, meaning that they don't need to rely on coyotes during that time of year. And even throughout the summer, it's not unusual to see a coyote or a badger hunting alone. The relationship isn't exclusive and both species are known to hunt without the other around.

Still, seeing these different species together, particularly when both are known for their fierce hunting abilities, is an intriguing sight.

Coyotes and badgers are often seen hunting together in a show of beneficial mutualism.

Coyote and Badger Hunting Together

Photo: Kimberly Fraser, USFWS

Coyotes can run down prey, while badgers can follow animals underground.

Mutualism with Coyote and Badger

Photo: Kimberly Fraser, USFWS

A wildlife camera recently caught this unique friendship in the Bay Area.

This odd couple is often seen hunting together in national parks across the United States.

h/t: [U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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