Jackals are cooperative, cunning hunters.
Jackals can best be described as opportunistic omnivores. They cooperatively hunt small antelopes and also eat reptiles, insects, ground-dwelling birds, fruits, berries, and grass. They will pick over kills made by large carnivores and even frequent rubbish dumps in pursuit of food.
They have family values.
Jackals usually live singly or in pairs but are occasionally found in loose packs of related individuals. They are among the few mammalian species in which the male and female mate for life. Mated pairs are territorial, and both the female and male mark and defend their territory.
Litters average 2 to 4 pups. It takes about 10 days for the infants' eyes to open, and for the first few weeks of life, they remain in the thickets or holes where they were born. At about 3 weeks old, they begin to spend time outside playing with their littermates. At first, the games are clumsy attempts at wrestling, pawing, and biting. As they become more coordinated, they ambush and pounce, play tug of war, and chase each other. The mother changes den sites about every 2 weeks, so the young are less likely to be found by predators.
The pups are suckled and fed regurgitated food until they are about 2 months old. By 3 months, they no longer use the den but start to follow their parents, slowly learning the territory and observing hunting behavior. By 6 months, they are hunting on their own. Their parents, however, continue to feed, groom, and play with them.
Jackal pups are roped into baby-sitting younger siblings.
Sometimes pups will stay with their parents and help raise their younger siblings. Most pup deaths occur during the first 14 weeks of life, so the presence of helpers increases the survival rate.
They are very vocal.
Jackals are noisy. Family or pack members communicate with each other by screaming, yelling, and yapping or a siren-like howl when a kill is located.