BOOKS: Coyotes and Javelinas
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2006:
Coyotes and Javelinas
by Lauray Yule
Look West Series (Rio Nuevo Publishers,
451 N. Bonita Ave., Tucson, AZ 85745), 2004.
64 pages, hardcover, illustrated. $12.95.
Not reviewing these now time-tested and still in print titles
promptly on publication two years ago was a goof occasioned by
whatever cat knocked the unopened envelope containing them down into
the false bottom of a filing cabinet.
Written for a classroom audience, Coyotes and Javelinas
present a positive view of two of the most resourceful and unjustly
maligned animals in the west. Former Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
staffer Lauray Yule came to know and appreciate coyotes and javelinas
from first-hand observation and experience. While Coyotes and
Javelinas are not first-hand narratives, neither are they mere
simplified natural history texts. In addition to biological
information, Yule describes the cultural roles of her animal
Few observers of javelinas are aware, as Yule points out,
that they are not closely related to the Old World pigs they
resemble, and that their likenesses exemplify convergent evolution.
Conversely, coyotes are the New World variant of the Old World
jackal, whom they closely resemble, but Yule misses that
Yule might also be faulted for omitting discussion of the
federally funded purges of coyotes conducted for the past 75
years–but if she delved deeply into that, rancher influence might
keep Coyotes out of school libraries.