Black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas).—Leonard Lee Rue III
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).