Black-backed jackals

Black-backed jackals

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Credit: PETER CHADWICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Black-backed jackals, Canis mesomelas, at dawn. These scavengers are seen in packs, alone or in family groups. Greeting gestures and social play have been observed in these jackals and they are highly vocal. Grunts, barks and howls feature in their repertoire. They inhabit the grasslands, plains and south-western deserts of Africa. Reaching around a metre in length and ten kilograms in weight, their diverse diet includes small mammals, eggs, birds, insects, reptiles and some fruits. Large packs of these animals may appear after a kill, hoping to feed on the carrion. Photographed in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, South Africa.

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Keywords: animal, black-backed jackals, canis mesomelas, dawn, mammal, nature, omnivore, omnivorous, orange, predators, predatory, scavengers, sunrise, three, wildlife, zoology

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