The New Student's Reference Work/Jackal
Jack′al, a dog-like animal, smaller than the wolf, inhabiting southern Europe, Asia and northern Africa. It has a pointed muzzle, like a fox, and a bushy tail about one third the length of the body. The common jackal of southern Asia is the best known. It is grayish yellow in color, darker above and lighter below. During the day jackals remain concealed in burrows, caves and sheltered places, but at night they hunt, frequently in packs. They utter a piercing unearthly cry, and the howling of a pack at night is familiar in oriental villages. They feed on smaller mammals, poultry and especially carrion, quarrelling over the latter with the vultures. They shadow wounded animals and haunt battlefields and burying-grounds. When running in packs, they often attack sheep and antelopes. They are easily tamed, and probably represent one of the breeds from which the domestic dog is descended. They are harmless if left unmolested, but when cornered fight desperately.