Jackal Skulls - African Black-Backed Jackal Skulls
Black-backed jackals are highly vocal. Best known for their high wailing calls – often given in the early evening, when one individual answers another until an unearthly chorus builds up – they also utter a repeated yapping when tailing a predator; a call that sometimes betrays an irritated lion or leopard. Fossil deposits have revealed that the black-backed jackal is one of the oldest known dog species. It has remained pretty much unchanged since the Pleistocene epoch, up to 2.5 million years ago.Like all jackals, this species forms monogamous, life-long pair bonds. What’s more, youngsters from one year’s litter often act as ‘helpers’, suppressing their own breeding ambitions and remaining with their parents for a year or more in order to help them raise the next litter. This habit is known to have a greater bearing on pup survival rates in black-backed jackals, than in any other jackal species.Black-backed jackals are among the most significant vectors of rabies in southern Africa. They have been associated with epidemics, which appear in four- to eight-year cycles.In the folklore of the indigenous Khoikhoi people of south-western Africa, the black-backed jackal often travels in tandem with the lion, which it frequently outsmarts or betrays using its superior intelligence.
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