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Difference between Wolf and Jackal

Wolf and Jackal both belong to the family, Canidae and are found throughout the world, except Antarctica. People often confuse wolf with Jackal as they look alike. Let us study these animals more closely so that we could easily distinguish one from another!

Wolf:

Wolf is the largest member of the Canidae family. It is mostly found in North America, North Africa and Eurasia. Basically, there are two main species of wolves, grey wolf and red wolf. The grey wolf has 38 different subspecies.

A wolf is characterized by its large head, long legs, narrow chests and hips. Its front feet have five toes, whereas the back feet have four toes. It stands around 60-90 cm at the shoulders, the length ranges from 1 to 1.6 m and weighs 30 to 175 pounds, depending on the species.

Wolves are carnivorous as they exclusively feed on other small mammals like rabbit, deer, goat, sheep, turkey etc. The female wolf comes into heat once in a year and gives birth to 4 to 7 pups at a time, after a gestation period of around 63 days. The average life span of a wolf is around 8 to 10 years in the wild.

Jackal:

Jackal is a medium-sized member of the family, Canidae. There are basically three types of jackals: the golden jackal, the side-striped jackal and black-backed jackal. The golden jackal is the heaviest among these three species. All species can survive in a wide range of habitats such as deserts, grasslands, savannas, bush-lands, mountains, woodlands, etc.

Jackals can measure 15 to 20 inches in height, weigh 15 to 35 pounds, and can live upto 8 to 9 years in the wild, depending on the species. Their fur can be golden, rust or silver-colored black in colour with a bushy tail. Jackals are omnivorous as they can feed on plants and animals. They are more likely to hunt small mammals, birds and reptiles. They eat whatever is available, e.g. they can feed on dead animals and leftovers of other animals? hunt.

Their natural predators include leopards, tigers, hyenas and birds of prey. They are vocal animals as they make a variety of sounds to communicate with each other such as yips, growls, howls and owl-like hoots. Jackals are monogamous which means they mate with only one partner for their entire life. The female jackal gives birth to 2 to 4 pups after a gestation period of around 60 days.

Based on the above facts and figures, some of the key differences between wolf and jackal are as follows:

Wolf Jackal
It is comparatively larger than a jackal. It is comparatively smaller than a wolf.
The two main species of wolves include grey wolf and red wolf. The three main types of jackals include the golden jackal, the side-striped jackal and black-backed jackal.
A wolf stands around 60-90 cm at the shoulders. Jackals measure around 15 to 20 inches in height.
An adult wolf weighs around 30 to 170 pounds, depending on the species. An adult jackal weighs around 15 to 35 pounds, depending on the species.
They are carnivorous as they feed on small mammals like rabbit, deer, goat, sheep, turkey, rodent etc. They are omnivorous as they can feed on plants and small animals.
The gestation period for a female wolf is around 63 to 75 days, depending on the species. The gestation period for a female jackal is around 60 to 70 days, depending on the species.
The female gives birth to 4 to 7 pups at a time. The female gives birth to 2 to 4 pups at a time.
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