Jackal is a medium sized animal that shares some of its physical features with the dog. It is mainly found in the continents of Africa, Asia and southeastern Europe.The animal belongs to the family of Canidae, just like the wolves, coyotes, domestic dogs and foxes. Since a long time, jackal has been associated with superstitions, especially with the bad omens. The ancient Egyptians believed a jackal-headed God, Anubis to be the guide for the dead. We bring some interesting facts and amazing information about jackals, in the below lines. Read on to know more about this nocturnal animal.
Facts About Jackal
Species: 3 species (Canis aureus, Canis adustus, Canis mesomelas)
Size: 15 to 20 inches (at the shoulder)
Weight: 15 to 35 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 12 years
Habit: Live singly or in pairs
Diet: Omnivorous; scavenger
Habitat: Open and wooded savannas, desert and arid grasslands.
Call: Yell and yapping
Gestation Period: Around 2 months
Number of Offspring: 2 - 4 pups
Predators: Eagles, hyenas and leopards
Interesting & Amazing Information On Jackals
- There are three main species of jackal found all over the world - Golden jackal (Canis aureus), Side-striped jackal (Canis adustus), and Black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas). These species differ from each other in color and choice of habitat.
- The golden jackal is found all over Asia, Northern Africa and Southern Europe. It is known to have 13 subspecies.
- The golden jackal is also known as Oriental Jackal, Common Jackal, Asiatic Jackal, Reed Wolf and Astro-Hungarian Wolf.
- The side-striped jackal has smaller ears and shorter legs, than the other two species of jackals. This species has a pale strip along the side of the body.
- Side-striped jackal roams in and around the humid regions of savannah and the woodlands. Unlike other jackals, it has a typical “owl-like hoot”.
- The black-backed jackal has a silver colored black streak of fur, which runs from its neck to the tail. It is more slender in comparison to the golden jackal and the side-striped jackal.
- Unlike the other two species, the black-backed species hunt for its prey in groups and can lay down even the larger preys like antelope and the impalas.
- Jackal is basically a nocturnal mammal. It can maintain a speed of 16 km/hour for quite a long duration of time.
- Jackal communicates to other members of the community by yelling or yapping, especially when it finds out a prey.
- Though jackal is known to be a scavenger, it also picks up the preys killed by large carnivores. At some occasions, it even takes up food from the wastes.
- The animal is also known to have excellent hunting skills. However, in absence of prey, it can survive even on grass.
- The infant jackals take around 10 days to open their eyes. They stay in the thickets or holes where they are born, for the first few weeks.
- Mother jackal changes the den site every two weeks, in order to ensure that the predators do not find its pups.
- Till 2 months, the infant jackals feed on their mother. Within a time period of 6 months, they learn to hunt on their own.
- Generally, the grown up jackal pups take care of the younger ones. Most pup deaths occur in the first 14 weeks of birth and hence, the presence of guardian helps increase the survival rate of the pups.
- Jackals are territorial in nature and extremely protective of their territory.