Online Encyclopedia

JACKAL (Turk. chakal)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 107 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JACKAL (Turk. chakal), a name properly restricted to Canis aureus, a wolf-like wild member of the dog family inhabiting eastern Europe and southern Asia, but extended to include a number of allied species. Jackals resemble wolves and dogs in their dentition, the round eye-pupils, the period of gestation; and to a large extent also in habits. The European species grows to a height of 15 in. at the shoulders, and to a length of about 2 ft., exclusive of its bushy tail. Typically the fur is greyish-yellow, darker on the back and lighter beneath. The range of the common jackal (C. aureus) extends from Dalmatia to India, the species being represented by several local races. In Senegal this species is replaced by C. anthus, while in Egypt occurs the much larger C. lupaster, commonly known as the Egyptian wolf. Nearly allied to the last is the so-called Indian wolf (C. pallipes). Other African species are the black-backed jackal (C. mesomelas),afford excellent sport. Jackals are readily tamed; and domesticated individuals are said, when called by their masters, to wag their tails, crouch and throw themselves on the ground, and otherwise behave in a dog-like fashion. The jackal, like the fox, has an offensive odour, due to the secretion of a gland at the base of the tail.
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