Black-backed Jackal

Canis mesomelas

The black-backed jackal can be found only in the southern-most tip of Africa and along the eastern coastline, including Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. They live in open terrain, including the surroundings of small cities and suburbs of large cities.

The fossil record indicates that the Black-backed Jackal is the oldest member of the genus Canis.

This animal has very well developed senses of hearing and smell. If startled, a jackal retreats a certain distance and then circles back so to interpret the scent of the disturbance.

The black-backed jackals usually live together in pairs that last for life, but they often hunt in packs so to be able to get larger prey. They can also scavenge for food. These omnivorous animals adapt to almost whatever there is available for food, including fruits, berries, impala, insects, hares, and even domestic animals.

The above picture was taken in the Brookfield Zoo of Chicago, Illinois, in August 2004.

Genus Canis
Family Canidae
Superfamily Canoidea
Order Carnivora
Subclass Eutheria
Class Mammalia
Subphylum Vertebrata
Phylum Chordata
Kingdom Animalia
Life on Earth