Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.
jackal,name for several Old World carnivorous mammals of the genus Canis, which also includes the dogdog,
carnivorous, domesticated wolf (Canis lupus familiaris) of the family Canidae, to which the jackal and fox also belong. The family Canidae is sometimes referred to as the dog family, and its characteristics, e.g.
..... Click the link for more information. and the wolfwolf,
carnivorous mammal of the genus Canis in the dog family. Once distributed over most of the Northern Hemisphere, wild wolves are now confined to the wilder parts of a reduced range.
..... Click the link for more information. . Jackals are found in Africa and S Asia, where they inhabit deserts, grasslands, and brush country. They are similar in size to the North American prairie wolf, or coyotecoyote
or prairie wolf,
small, swift wolf, Canis latrans, native to W North America. Historically found in deserts, prairies, open woodlands, and brush country, it is increasingly colonizing urban habitats; it is also called brush wolf.
..... Click the link for more information. , and like the coyote, they howl and yap before the evening hunt. Renowned as scavengers, jackals also hunt small animals such as rodents and gazelle fawns. Pairs generally mate for life; they forage by night and spend the day in holes or with a litter hidden in brush. The black-backed jackal, Canis mesomelas, the simian jackal, C. simensis, and the side-striped jackal, C. adustus, are found only in Africa; they are territorial and form complex social groups. The golden, or Asian, jackal, C. aureus, is found in S Asia, the Middle East, and more recently in SE Europe; they usually hunt in small packs. Jackals are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Canidae.
See J. L. Gittleman, Carnivore Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution (1989).
(Canis aureus), also Indian jackal, Oriental jackal, or common jackal, a predatory mammal of the family Canidae. The jackal resembles a wolf but is much smaller and has a shorter tail and more pointed muzzle. The body measures 71–82 cm in length, and the tail, about 20 cm. The fur is reddish brown to gray in the winter and reddish brown in the summer.
The jackal is distributed in southern Europe, North Africa, and southern Asia and on the island of Sri Lanka. In the USSR it is found in the Caucasus and Middle Asia; sometimes it occurs in Moldavia. The jackal usually inhabits lowlands and dense thickets along rivers and lakes; more rarely it inhabits deserts and foothills. It is often found near populated areas. It lives in dens. The diet includes rodents, birds, carrion, garbage, and fruits. Mating occurs in January. The female gives birth to four to nine pups, usually in the den. Sexual maturity is attained in the second year of life. Primarily a nocturnal animal, the jackal has a particularly loud howl.
The jackal has little commercial importance; the hide is of little value. The jackal is somewhat harmful to the hunting trade and poultry farming.
What does it mean when you dream about a jackal?
Jackals are considered negative creatures because they scavenge dead bodies. In Egyptian mythology, the jackal led souls to the land of the dead. As a dream symbol, the jackal can signify transformation. It can also symbolize someone’s worst nightmare.