Here, in Arizona, coyotes roam and hunt in the desert.

Coyote in Arizona desert

While hiking with dogs, I often see spiny bits of Teddy bear cholla cactus on the ground.

Teddy bear cholla cactus patch

Dogs often step on these and get stung by the needles. Trying to remove them from dog paws with hands usually results in hands getting pricked too. A pair of stones, sticks, or tweezers usually works. I imagine letting the dogs chew off the needles would result in having needles in their lips/mouth.

Q: What do coyotes do with stuck cactus needles? Do they remove them, if so how? Do coyotes and perhaps other desert animals have special adaptations for removing/avoiding cactus needles?


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