jackal


jackal
/jak"euhl, -awl/, n.
1. any of several nocturnal wild dogs of the genus Canis, esp. C. aureus, of Asia and Africa, that scavenge or hunt in packs.
2. a person who performs dishonest or base deeds as the follower or accomplice of another.
3. a person who performs menial or degrading tasks for another.
[1595-1605; < alter., by assoc. with JACK, of Pers shag(h)al; c. Skt srgala]

* * *

Any of three canine species of the genus Canis.

They inhabit open country and live alone, in pairs, or in packs. They hunt at night, feeding on small animals, plant material, or carrion. A pack can bring down larger prey. The golden, or Asiatic, jackal (yellowish) is found from eastern Europe and North Africa to South Asia. The black-backed jackal (rusty red with a black back) and side-striped jackal (grayish with a white-tipped tail and an indistinct stripe on each side) are found in southern and eastern Africa. Jackals are 34–37 in. (85–95 cm) long, including the 12–14-in. (30–35-cm) tail, and weigh 15–24 lbs (7–11 kg).

Black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas).

Leonard Lee Rue III

* * *

mammal
 any of several species of wolflike carnivores of the dog genus Canis, family Canidae, sharing with the hyena an exaggerated reputation for cowardice. Three species are usually recognized: the golden, or Asiatic, jackal (C. aureus), found from eastern Europe and northeast Africa to Southeast Asia, and the black-backed (C. mesomelas) and side-striped (C. adustus) jackals of southern and eastern Africa. Jackals grow to a length of about 85–95 cm (34–37 inches), including the 30–35-centimetre (12–14-inch) tail, and weigh about 7–11 kg (15–24 pounds). The golden jackal is yellowish; the black-backed jackal is rusty red with a black back; and the side-striped jackal is grayish with a white-tipped tail and an indistinct stripe on each side.

      Jackals inhabit open country. They are nocturnal animals that usually conceal themselves by day in brush or thickets and sally forth at dusk to hunt. They live alone, in pairs, or in packs and feed on whatever small animals, plant material, or carrion is available. They follow lions and other large cats in order to finish a carcass when the larger animal has eaten its fill. When hunting in packs, they are able to bring down prey as large as an antelope or sheep.

      Like other members of the genus, jackals sing at evening; their cry is considered more dismaying to human ears than that of the hyena. They have an offensive odour caused by the secretion of a gland at the base of the tail. The young are born in burrows, the litters containing two to seven pups; gestation lasts 57 to 70 days. Like wolves and coyotes, jackals interbreed with domestic dogs.

      The aardwolf (q.v.), family Hyaenidae, is sometimes called a maned, or gray, jackal. The South American fox (q.v.), Dusicyon, is sometimes referred to as a jackal.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • JACKAL — (Heb. שׁוּעָל, Shu al; AV, JPS fox ). The jackal, Canis aureus, is the most prevalent beast of prey in Ereẓ Israel. Being omnivorous, it is encountered most commonly near inhabited areas, where it feeds on fruit, vegetables, offal, and carrion,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Jackal — Разработчик Konami Издатель Konami Жанр Экшн Платформы Аркадный автомат, NES, Famicom Disk System, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spec …   Википедия

  • jackal — [jak′əl, jak′ôl΄] n. pl. jackals or jackal [Turk chaqāl < Pers shagāl < Sans śrgālá] 1. any of several wild dogs of Asia and N Africa, mostly yellowish gray and smaller than the wolf: they often hunt prey in packs, generally at night, and… …   English World dictionary

  • Jackal — Jack al , n. [Pers. shagh[=a]l: cf. OF. jackal, F. chacal; cf. Skr. [,c][.r]g[=a]la.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of several species of carnivorous animals inhabiting Africa and Asia, related to the dog and wolf. They are cowardly,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Jackal — Jackal, Beutel der Hottentotten (s.d.) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • jackal — (n.) c.1600, from Turk. çakal, from Pers. shaghal, from or cognate with Skt. srgala s, lit. the howler. Figurative sense of skulking henchman is from the old belief that jackals stirred up game for lions …   Etymology dictionary

  • jackal — ► NOUN ▪ a slender, long legged wild dog that often hunts or scavenges in packs, found in Africa and southern Asia. ORIGIN Turkish çakal …   English terms dictionary

  • Jackal — Taxobox name = Jackal image width = 250px image caption = A black backed jackal in Masaai Mara regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Carnivora familia = Canidae genus = Canis genus authority = in part subdivision ranks =… …   Wikipedia

  • jackal — paprastasis šakalas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Canis aureus angl. Asiatic jackal; common jackal; golden jackal; jackal; northern jackal; oriental jackal vok. gemeiner Schakal; Goldschakal;… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • Jackal — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Jackal est un mot anglais qui signifie chacal. Il peut aussi désigner : Jackal est le nom du 11 eme fantome dans le remake du film 13 fantomes Jackal …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.