History of the coyote and roadrunner relationship
What is the real story?The natural history of coyotes and roadrunners has fascinated observers for decades. From their first encounter on a lonely desert highway to the last Beep, Beep, fading off in the distance, these two fascinating beings have remained in the forefront of social science. Although a summary can only scratch the surface, below are some key issues surrounding the elusive coyote and roadrunner connection.
The economic impact of coyotes on Acme industries:
Even the casual observer cannot help but notice the prominent role of Acme products in the coyote/roadrunner interaction. Economists have speculated on the effect of this relationship on the development of new product development within Acme, as well as the incremental market demand generated by remote observers. For example, would so many varieties of Acme explosives be available had the road runner and coyote relationship not existed? Or were there other symbiotic relationships, perhaps not so well profiled by Looney Tunes, which supported this innovative manufacturer? Researchers are still divided on these crucial issues.
The sociology of the coyote and roadrunner dyad
Perhaps no question has so occupied the minds of sociologists as that of the roadrunner and coyote relationship. Although it appears to be adversarial on the surface, astute students of multi-species relationships have uncovered dozens of complex subscripts lurking below the surface of the now familiar desert road encounters. Zoologists trained in the subtleties of the natural history of coyotes are baffled by the failure of a standard coyote to intercept and capture a single roadrunner, despite employing a significant number of anvils, sticks of dynamite, and other creative Acme tools. Likewise, the apparent distain for danger despite hundreds of near-fatal encounters does not appear to be typical of roadrunner psychology. Clearly, the interaction between the pair has altered the normal behavior of both into what is now labeled the Tweety Bird/Cat behavioral pattern.
Was the Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd relationship an influential factor?
It is impossible to over-estimate the impact of modeling in interpersonal relationships, and nowhere is this more evident than in the ongoing attempts to explain the origins of the roadrunner and coyote behavioral matrix. Some academics have theorized that the Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny relationship provided the seeds for later roadrunner and coyote actions, although some skeptics maintain that the coyote preceded the bunny. Clearly further study is critical to resolving this dispute.
Sorting through the wealth of information and theories surrounding this fascinating relationship is a lifelong work of devotion for so many of our greatest academics. And why should it not be, when the natural history of the coyote and roadrunner is the stuff upon which brilliant university careers are built.