Animal jackal: description and lifestyle
Jackal is an animal that is unknowingly easily confused with an ordinary dog or a wolf. Not surprising, because they are all related species. How to distinguish an animal from other members of its family? A photo of a jackal does not always help to do this. Let's take a closer look at its characteristics, lifestyle and other features.
External signs and photos of the jackal
Jackals are medium-sized mammals. They belong to the genus of wolves and together in wolves, dogs, foxes belong to the family of canids. The animal is a jackal not too large: without a tail, its body length reaches 80 centimeters, and its height is no more than 50 centimeters. An animal weighs up to ten kilograms.
In size and appearance, he stands somewhere between a wolf and a fox. His muzzle is slightly pointed, his body is dense, and his legs are long and thin. Ears set a little further than the fox. In the jackal of ordinary they are short, but in the black-clad and Ethiopian species the ears are long, which is associated with dwelling in a hotter area.
The fur of the animal is hard, and its color is heterogeneous. Depending on the region, it may vary. It is usually dominated by gray shades with darkened or black, and sometimes reddish inclusions. The sides are lighter than the back and muzzle; yellow-white fur on the belly. The tail of the jackal is long (20-30 cm) and very fluffy.
Settlement and habitat
There are four main types of jackals:
The most numerous species is the ordinary jackal. The animal lives in South, Middle and Small Asia, in the Middle East and in Southern Europe. The remaining species are common in Africa. Jackal Cheprachny lives mainly in South Africa, as well as in Numibia, striped occupies the central and southern part of the continent.
The Ethiopian jackal is found only in Ethiopia. It resembles a fox more strongly than others, has a more slender body and graceful features. This is an endangered species, which has about 600 individuals. They live in an atypical for the most part of Africa zone of alpine meadows, which is partly due to the small number.
Jackals love to settle in the savannas, in dense thickets and near water bodies.They do not disdain and deserts, semi-deserts, and sometimes foothills to a height of a thousand meters. Like the wolf, the jackal is an animal that easily adapts to man-made landscapes. They easily settle near residential areas.
Jackal: lifestyle description
Predators live in small flocks of up to ten individuals. These are mostly nocturnal animals. They begin to hunt at dusk, and during the day they rest in their holes. However, sometimes they violate this rule and go hunting in the light of day.
Jackals are clever and cunning, but cowardly enough. They rarely take decisive action in times of danger, avoiding the enemy. Animals love to howl. They start their "songs" with the beginning of the hunt, they can howl at the moon or at the sound of a siren. Hearing the scream of one, all the jackals who are nearby, also begin to whine.
Their reproduction period lasts from January to March. During this period, they also howl actively. Jackals are monogamous animals and create couples for life. In the upbringing of offspring and home improvement, the male plays a significant role. The female bears puppies for 60 days, feeds them with milk and gradually translates into meat.As a rule, from four to six cubs are born at a time.
They themselves build houses only if there is no suitable place nearby. Most often jackals settle in natural crevices and indentations, and also occupy holes abandoned by other animals. They do not disguise the path to the house, it is easy to find it along the beaten paths.
What does jackal eat in nature? This is basically an omnivore. Ordinary jackals perfectly adapt to new conditions and different foods. So, they learned to steal poultry and even carry scraps from landfills near villages and cities. In nature, their diet consists of fresh meat, carrion and plant food.
They eat berries, fruits, sugarcane and plant roots. Eating a melon, watermelon or grapes is not a problem for them. They hunt small animals, such as frogs, snakes, lizards. Jackals can fish and eat insects. For the fact that they do not disdain carrion, they were called forest nurses. In winter, nutria and wintering birds are the main ration of jackals.
These predators hunt alone and in groups. With the "single race" they go jogging. Having smelled the victim, quietly sneak up on her.Jackals jump well and can get a bird that has already taken off a little. But they catch hares infrequently. In groups, they rarely join together to catch a large animal, such as a deer or deer. To do this, they pounce on the victim, trying to dump it, and then rip open her stomach.
Image in culture
In many cultures, the jackal has an unpleasant reputation. He is usually credited with the lowest qualities, such as weakness and cowardice. The expression "shakalit" in Russian means to look out for something, seek out or sniff out some information. In the Arab countries, the animal is associated with sycophancy and insincerity.
In Africa, he is associated with the image of a cheat, a clever, cunning and vile man who often cheats. Because the animal feeds on carrion, Buddhists compare it with a person who commits evil and is unable to purify. The Hindu jackal accompanies the goddess of evil and destruction.
In ancient Egypt, the animal was raised to the rank of god. Anubis was depicted with the head of a jackal and the body of a man. He patronized the dead and accompanied their souls to the Court, decided how many years a person can live, protected cemeteries and tombs.