In jackal society the social unit is that of a monogamous
pair which defends its territory from other pairs. These
territories are defended by vigorously chasing intruding rivals
and marking landmarks around the territory with urine and feces.
The territory may be large enough to hold some young adults who
stay with their parents until they establish their own
territory. Jackals may occasionally assemble in small packs, for
example to scavenge a carcass, but normally hunt alone or as a
Jackals are considered close to what all ancestral canids looked and behaved like. Despite their outward similarity, these species are not considered closely related to one another. The Simian Jackal is actually a wolf that is thought to have taken on the appearance of a large fox or jackal through convergent evolution (by adopting a similar diet of small rodents), and the other three 'true jackals' are believed to have split from each other 6 mya. The Golden Jackal is thought to have evolved in Asia whilst the other two species evolved in Africa.
The Ancient Egyptian god of embalming and the underworld, Anubis, was depicted as a man with a jackal's head. Today they are one of the more commonly seen animals on safaris, and are found outside of national parks and do well in human altered landscapes and even near and in human settlements.
This Jackal Page is Copyright The Animal Web Guide © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub