Jackal, a carnivorous mammal related to the dog, wolf, and coyote. It is found in Africa and southeastern Asia. The jackal has long, slender legs; a bushy tail; and foxlike ears. Its fur is coarse, and is mottled gray, tawny, or reddish above with lighter underparts.
Jackals rest in burrows during the day. At night they feed on insects, small mammals, plants, and carrion (decaying animal flesh). About two months after mating, the female gives birth to two to four young. Both parents take care of the young.
The golden jackal is found in southeastern Asia and from Egypt to Tanzania. The black-backed jackal is found from northeastern Africa to South Africa. The side-striped jackal, found in central and southern Africa, has a band of white fur and a band of black fur along its sides. The Simien jackal of Ethiopia is tawny-colored with white markings. Due to loss of habitat and indiscriminate hunting, it is endangered.
The golden jackal is Canis aureus; the black-backed, C. mesomelas; the side-striped, C. adustus; the Simien, C. simensis. Jackals belong to the family Canidae.