A black-backed jackal on a beach in Namibia . Photo by: Nancy Butler.
The black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas) is the world’s oldest canine according to fossils, beating out wolves and coyotes. The most daring of the world’s jackals, the black-backed often hunts animals several times larger than itself. Though, the jackal feeds on pretty much anything from insects to berries, from carrion to adult antelopes.
The species is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List, but it is persecuted for attacking livestock. It is found in two separate populations, one in East African and the other in southern Africa.
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