Jackals are members of the genus Canis.
They are more closely related to dogs than to wolves but resemble some wolf subspecies.
A jackal’s coat can be tan, black, or brown; their bellies and the insides of their legs are white.
Size varies by species; jackals on average stand around 52–84 centimeters tall at the shoulder and measure about 533–770 millimeters in body length.
What Do Jackals Eat?
They are omnivores, with their diets consisting of plants, insects, fish, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and birds.
Jackals will eat almost anything when they can get it.
They have been known to scavenge from human corpses if no other source of meat is available.
Jackal Reproduction and Habits
They live in a family unit with a dominant hierarchy and will form packs.
There is usually more than one adult male in the pack. A jackal’s mating season ranges from January to February.
During this time, which can last up to 20 days, both males and females mate multiple times per day.
The pups are born deaf and blind, but after a few weeks, their hearing becomes more acute.
After three months they begin to leave the den with the adults.
Jackals have a good sense of hearing and smell but have poor vision.
They can locate a mole-rat burrow from 300 meters away, or a wounded ground squirrel from three-quarters of a kilometer away.
They can locate prey by scent within 100 meters, and dig it up if it is buried under 3 centimeters of sand or earth.
Jackals are monogamous.
Once paired with another jackal, they will stay together for life unless one of the two dies.
If their den becomes too small, the jackals will move to a new one, taking the pups with them.
Jackals can live up to 11 years.
Jackal in Human Society
Jackals are considered pests by farmers because they sometimes eat livestock, like goats and sheep, but they also prey on the mice that would normally eat the grain stored in their barns.
They have been known to drive farm animals into traps or kill them for food when other sources are not available.
Jackals are generally not dangerous to humans, but they can become aggressive if approached.
Jackals build dens in the ground and usually live in groups of ten or fifteen.
They often dig their dens in riverbanks because it is easy to find food near water and easier to escape danger.
There is normally more than one den within a certain area, for if the den becomes too crowded, the young pups are kicked out to find a new home.
The jackal is known as an intelligent animal, but not so much for its cleverness as for its curiosity.
Jackals have been observed to play games with other animals or even with humans.
They will sometimes move around rocks instead of going around them or run into trees for no reason at all.
If they are hiding from another animal, they will sometimes give themselves away by barking.
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