Wildlife photography of a coyote diving into deep Winter snow in Yellowstone National Park after hearing unseen prey beneath
After listening intently, a coyote leaps in his quest for a fresh meal residing just under the snow. Known to indigenous peoples as song dogs, coyotes are highly intelligent, resilient and social animals. In Winter, they use their nose to dive suddenly into deep snow after their incredible hearing has located unseen prey within the subnivean zone—from the Latin “sub” for under and “nives” for snow. Mice and voles Winter there for protection from frigid temperatures and hungry predators. In this zone, grass, leaves, seeds, and insects are readily available and unfrozen, and these small mammals create tunnel systems complete with air shafts to the surface.