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Uploaded on on Jul 15, 2021


Jackals are medium-sized omnivorous animals belonging to the Canina subtribe, which also contains wolves and domestic dogs. While the term “jackal” has been used to describe a variety of small canines in the past, it is now most often used to describe three species: the closely related black-backed and side-striped jackals of Sub-Saharan Africa and the golden jackal of south-central Europe and Asia.

Jackals are scavengers and opportunistic omnivores that prey on tiny to medium-sized animals. Their long legs and curved canine teeth make them well-suited for hunting small mammals, birds, and reptiles, while their big feet and fused leg bones make them well-suited for long-distance sprinting, allowing them to maintain speeds of 16 km/h (9.9 mph) for lengthy periods of time. Jackals are crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active at dawn and twilight.

A monogamous couple is the most frequent social unit, and it protects its territory from other pairs by pursuing invading rivals and marking landmarks throughout the area with urine and feces. The territory may be large enough to accommodate some young adults who will remain with their parents until they are ready to create their own territories. Jackals may occasionally congregate in small groups to scavenge a cadaver, but they usually hunt alone or in pairs.

Because of the similarities between jackals and coyotes, Lorenz Oken separated them into a new genus, Thos, called after the classical Greek word “jackal,” in the third volume of his Lehrbuch der Naturgeschichte (1815), although his idea had no direct influence on taxonomy at the time.

Angel Cabrera questioned whether the presence of a cingulum on the upper molars of jackals and its lack in the remainder of Canis might support a subdivision of that genus in his 1932 monograph on the animals of Morocco. Cabrera used the undivided-genus approach in practice, referring to jackals as Canis rather than Thos.


Edmund Heller, who believed in the distinct genus hypothesis, resurrected Oken’s Thos idea in 1914. Although the genus has been renamed from Thos to Canis, Heller’s names and classifications for many jackal species and subspecies have survived in modern taxonomy.

The wolf-like canids are a group of big carnivores that share 78 chromosomes, making them genetically similar. The Canis, Cuon, and Lycaon genera are included in this category. The dog (Canis lupus familiaris), gray wolf (Canis lupus), coyote (Canis latrans), golden jackal (Canis aureus), Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis), black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas), side-striped jackal (Canis adustus), dhole (Cuon alpinus), and African wild dog (Cuon alpinus) are the members (Lycaon pictus).

The African golden wolf (C. anthus), which was formerly considered to be an African branch of the golden jackal, is the newest member. All members of the genus Canis have 78 chromosomes, making them karyologically indistinguishable from each other, as well as the dhole and the African hunting dog. The two African jackals are the group’s most basic members, indicating that the lineage originated in Africa. Canis arnensis, the progenitor of contemporary jackals, arrived in Mediterranean Europe 1.9 million years ago.

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