Jackal

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Jackal
Golden Jackal
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Black-backed jackal

Jackals are canids found in Africa and Asia. They are nocturnal carnivorous and eat small mammals, birds and reptiles. To hunt, they can run at speeds of 16km/h (10mph).

Jackals are monogamous (each male live with only a female), and a pair defends its territory from other pairs. They mark the territory with urine and feces. The territory may be large enough to hold some young adults who live with their parents until they have their own territory. Sometimes, jackals join small packs (groups), for example to hunt a big animal, but normally hunt alone or as a pair.

Today they are very common on safaris, and are also found next to human settlements (villages).

There are four species of jackals:

  • Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas) - the common jackal, live in many African habitats;
  • Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) - live in northern and central Africa and southern Asia;
  • Side-striped Jackal (Canis adustus) - live in central and Southern Africa;

A canid from Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis), is sometimes called Simian Jackal, but it is really a wolf. The Ethiopian Wolf is one of the rarest and most endangered of all canids.