The coyote is a species of canine native to North America. It is smaller than its close relative, the wolf, and slightly smaller than the closely related eastern wolf and red wolf. It fills much of the same ecological niche as the golden jackal does in Eurasia. The coyote is larger and more predatory and was once referred to as the American jackal by a behavioral ecologist. Other historical names for the species include the prairie wolf and the brush wolf.