african golden jackal

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I’ve been getting a few messages about the differences between the canines featured on this blog. Though I plan to make detailed pages of each species in the future, here’s a little info on each species.

Side-striped jackals (Canis adustus) are characterized by a white or silver marking running along their sides, as well as a long, white-tipped tail. They’re the larger of the two ‘true jackal’ species, and the most widely distributed of the two. They’re extremely shy creatures and primarily dwells in woodland and scrub areas opposed to their cousins on the open plains. Side-striped jackals eat less meat then their cousins, fruit accounting for nearly 30% of their diet in rural areas.

Black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas), also known as silver-backed jackals, are the world’s oldest living canine species, dating back to the Pleistocene. Like side-striped jackals, black-backed jackals are monogamous and tend to live in small family groups. Though commonly depicted as scavengers, black backed jackals have been know to hunt larger prey such as impala and springbok. They also display sexual dimorphism, with male black-backed jackals having darker, more graphic saddles than females.

Though commonly referred to as the Golden jackal, Canis aureus is closer related to wolves. They are able to produce fertile hybrids with dogs, gray wolves, and African golden wolves, while the side-striped and black-backs can only breed with their respective species. This small but adaptable canine is found in Africa, Europe, and Asia with many various subspecies. They are commonly depicted in Indian and English folklore, including a golden jackal named Tabaqui from Rudyard Kipling’s, The Jungle Book.

The African golden wolf (Canis anthus) is the newest canine species to have been discovered. Golden wolves exist in a variety of shapes and sizes depending upon their environment, from the stalky Egyptian wolf subspecies, to the lean Serengeti wolf which greatly resembles coyotes and jackals. They were considered an African variation of the golden jackal until 2015, where a series of analyses on the species' DNA demonstrated that it was in fact distinct from the golden jackal.

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Anubis attended the weighing scale during the “Weighing of the Heart,” in which it was determined whether a soul would be allowed to enter the realm of the dead.

Hellhound are often assigned to guard the entrances to the world of the dead, such as graveyards and burial grounds, or undertake other duties related to the afterlife or the supernatural, such as hunting lost souls or guarding a supernatural treasure.

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Jackals

Jackals are medium-sized omnivorous mammals of the genus Canis, which also includes wolves and the domestic dog. While the word “jackal” has historically been used for many small canids, in modern use it most commonly refers to three species: the closely related black-backed jackal and side-striped jackal of sub-Saharan Africa, and the golden jackal of south-central Eurasia, which is more closely related to other members of the genus Canis

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I do probably rail against the whole ‘Behold, science has shown us that the jackal gods are actually wolf gods!’ thing a little too hard but I just… I feel like such declarations are very close to being a form of pseudo-intellectualism. Sometimes it’s just “Hey, this is kind of interesting,” which is totally fine. But a lot of the time it seems like people get a hold of a shiny new ‘Fact’ and start swinging it around with no awareness of the greater conceptual landscape.

Okay, so science is now telling us that both the Egyptian Jackal and African Golden Jackal are wolves. And? How does this tidbit of information actually affect the way the ancient Egyptians perceived the sAb-animal? Which is what Anubis and Wepwawet are both actually described as being. Words like 'jackal’ and 'wolf’ are our own non-AE ones. The exclusion of the term sAb when discussing these deities means that a crucial filter is removed. That filter includes all sorts of information about behavioural traits, physical characteristics, and cultural perception. No scientifically-defined species matches up perfectly, although some comprise a larger piece of the pie than others. (The largest perhaps being the black-backed jackal, as I’ve mentioned before.) So tell me again how it is at all helpful in gaining a better understanding of these gods by going around saying 'Anubis is actually a wolf!’? It doesn’t change anything about the sAb. It also doesn’t make the Egyptian Jackal/Wolf or the African Golden Jackal/Wolf any less “jackal-like” in generic (if not genetic) terms. And so personally I will continue to use the term jackal. And that’s because it is and will continue to be, the best term for describing the sAb. The mental image attached to 'jackal’ is by far the better fit: It describes a small, slender, fast-moving wild canid that is most active at dusk/dawn and which has long legs, tall ears, a pointed muzzle, and a bushy tail. In other words, it describes much of the same things that 'sAb’ does.

bthays  asked:

Two questions. 1. What are your thoughts on Cecil the Lion? I'm sure you've had quite a few people ask about this, but I'm curious to know your opinion on the arguments made (both Pro and Con). 2. How cool is it about the African Golden Jackal (Wolf)?!?!?!?!?

Hi! 

I have a lot of thoughts about Cecil, and let me just clarify these are my personal feelings and I think there are a number of appropriate reactions. I will say the mob mentality and outrage that the killing of Cecil the lion spurred was not the most constructive response. The way Cecil was killed - which is to say, deliberately and without much justification aside from one man’s dominating ego - was disgusting. But, if it means the outcome is more people will take a concerted and deliberate effort to support conservation, then I can appreciate the positive outcome of a bad situation. 

Right now, I’m not sure how far that initial outrage will support real action. I see lots of people enraged for a short amount of time, who want to pit the evils threatening beautiful species on one man’s ill-informed actions. I see corporations capitalizing on a new market (remember.. even if Ty donates all profits of the lion beanie to WildCRU, they are still piggybacking on this event to demonstrate that they are a company that’s relevant and worth your money, and I’m skeptical, and would encourage you to just make a donation to WildCRU on your own). In six months, in a year, how will this event have changed the world of wildlife conservation? 

While I think trophy hunting on the part of an individual is irresponsible and weird, there are ways to make it sustainable and even beneficial for wildlife conservation. Trophy hunting in Africa can generate millions of dollars and employ thousands of people. If not done effectively, however, expanding human populations and encroachment of wildlife will (and in some places already has) deplete the areas used for hunting either way, and often times the benefits from this form of tourism don’t trickle down to local communities. This article on the economic and conservation significance of trophy hunting in sub-Saharn Africa is super interesting and you should read it. 

Meanwhile poaching and the over-hunting of hundreds of other species is still broiling on. Where’s the pangolin beanie baby? And I read this CNN article - The Most Trafficked Mammal You’ve Never Heard Of – that’s just irresponsible. If you haven’t heard of a pangolin you’re not paying attention. How many dead pangolins will it take before they receive the outrage that one lion spurred? How are we valuing wildlife – when it suits us, when it’s convenient to be outraged, when we can point the finger at one man instead of an entire country or culture or black market industry because the latter are complicated to understand?

Sharks and pangolins are plucked from protected areas, seahorses are traded and trafficked, habitats are destroyed for palm oil plantations, there are 79 species of classified endangered mollusks that have virtually no public support. No beanie baby for the unionid bivalves. Those animals - just as threatened with population decline and habitat loss - don’t have the luxury of being on the radar of pubic outrage. I don’t anticipate they ever will, but I can’t help but wonder how we could commandeer the outcry over a lion and use it as a launching point to discuss any number of species that have great ecological importance. 

Ultimately I hope Cecil’s death will be the spark that ignites serious discussion and action for the conservation of wildlife and continued support of natural and protected areas worldwide, but we’ll see. In any case, this conversation is way bigger than the one man who is responsible for starting it. 

anonymous asked:

Speaking of Ethiopian wolves - are they any more closely related to wolves than are African Golden Wolves or Coyotes?

I’m sorry, I don’t understand your question. The Ehtiopian wolf isn’t just another canine that’s closely related to wolves (like coyotes), Ethiopian wolves actually áre wolves. They’re one of the few wolf species that are currently still alive.

Also, it was recently discovered that the African Golden wolf - formely known as the African Golden jackal - is actually a wolf species too