Two Unlikely Partners in “Crime” – Coyote and Badger Hunting Together
Recently, the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center has shown sightings of two unlikely partners working together for a common goal; food. This unusual partnership is between a coyote and a badger who became “close friends” and partners in “crime”.
This kind of interspecies collaboration is uncommon, but not unheard of. But usually, when such a partnership emerges in the wild, it’s usually between prey animals, not predators. And, in any case, this is not the first time a coyote and badger have been seen working together.
This duo, as it turns out, works extremely well with each other, since the coyote can chase down prey if it decides to run away, while the badger can dig if the prey decides to burrow itself underground.
This is something that’s known as “synergy”. If either of them were to be working alone, they’d each be at a serious disadvantage, either because they were outrun, or out-burrowed. But together, they have a much higher chance of catching their prey. In most cases, when these kinds of partnerships happen in the wild, they usually do in summer. This is because the badger takes advantage of hibernating animals, for which the badger usually digs for, and not needing the coyote so much.
These two’s relationship is quite open too since both have been spotted hunting alone on occasion. Studies have also shown that this kind of cooperation is more efficient since both predators spend less energy hunting their prey. Maybe, there’s a lesson we could learn from these two when it comes to efficiency.
“Complementary morphological adaptations and predatory strategies, interspecific tolerance, and behavioral flexibility allowed them to form temporary hunting associations,” the study writes.
Each of these predators is a remarkable hunter in their own right, tailored by eons of evolution, but together they make a formidable force. A falcon or owl should join the team and they’d be almost unstoppable.