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Dog Eats Dryer Lint?

This post is about faeces, scat, poop or whatever you want to call it. Do not click on the cut unless you're prepared to look at photos of a predator's scat.


These are all taken today along a stretch of the Maguire Peaks Loop Trail in Sunol Regional Wilderness. The northern stretch to be precise, where you can see the San Antonio Reservoir. As you can see they're all pretty old and look to be roughly the same age. The items were spread out more or less regularly along the trail for a couple of hundred yards and on the trail itself but slightly off to the side.

First question is obviously if they're all from the same species?
Second what species is it?
Third, depending on the species, is it likely that they're from the same actual animal?

A single piece.
Scat
Wallpaper, feel free to use

A couple of pieces.
Scat
Wallpaper, feel free to use

Darker means older? Or the animal ate something different?
Scat
Wallpaper, feel free to use

Mostly white.
Scat
Wallpaper, feel free to use

Comments

I'm not positive, but I think it's a coyote, and the fibers are mammal hair, like squirrel or gopher.

They could be from the same animal, but I don't think there's a way to tell for sure short of lab analysis.
The first time I saw these, I thought coyote too. But, based on only my verbal description, rantingranger thought it might be mountain lion. We'll see what he says about the photos.
I'd love to give you a conclusive answer, but the images just muddle the issue for me. Quick Google image searches for the scat of either animal didn't turn up anything terribly different in appearance or size, and the scat of both animals seems to vary widely in appearance. If push comes to shove, I'll sidle on over to the coyote camp, too, if only for the facts that we have more coyotes around here and I expected something bigger from your verbal description.

And hi, Mary {|:)>
Also, there was a lot of it. Maybe ten little heaps that I noticed. I didn't take photos of all of them, nor did I photoshop all the ones that I took photos of. It was not that appetitisng. :-P

From what I understand about mountain lions, it's unlikely that one will stick around in an area long enough to accumulate that much scat along a few hundred yards of trail. They hunt alone and only stick around a part of their territory for a few days at the most, I thought.

Coyotes, on the other hand, are gregarious animals, so these may come from a number of individuals. Maybe it's a bit like yawning -- when one coyote goes, the others start feeling the urge too. :-) That would explain why there's so much in such a small space and all of more or less the same age.
I'm pretty sure that is coyote... I see scat like that all the time on the Escarpment; We have no mountain lions and a fair sized coyote population.

Scat

Looks to me like Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) scat. We are seeing them more and more in Los Gatos...<http://www.bear-tracker.com/grayfox.html>