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Coyote vs. Jackal: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Coyotes are wild canines native to North America, while jackals are wild canines from Africa and Asia with more slender forms and different social behaviors.
Coyote vs. Jackal

Key Differences

Coyotes (Canis latrans), are medium-sized predators native to North America, known for their adaptability and increasing presence in urban areas. Jackals, found in Africa and parts of Asia, are smaller, more secretive canines, often featured in folklore.
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Both coyotes and jackals are opportunistic omnivores, but coyotes are generally solitary or live in family units, whereas jackals are more likely to form larger packs and have more complex social structures.
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Coyotes have a bulkier build and a more varied diet, including livestock and large prey, compared to jackals, which are leaner and more likely to scavenge or hunt small animals.
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Jackals have a more elongated face, a bushier tail, and a less varied coat color compared to coyotes, which have a broader face, less bushy tail, and can have a variety of coat colors, from gray to brown.
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In terms of behavior, coyotes are known for their vocalizations, including howls, yips, and barks, which can communicate across large distances. Jackals, while also vocal, use calls more often for communication within packs and to defend their territory.
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Comparison Chart

Native Habitat

North America
Africa, South Asia
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Social Structure

Solitary/family units
Packs
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Physical Build

Bulkier
Leaner
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Coat Variability

Greater variation
Less variation
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Vocalizations

Howls, yips, barks
Calls for pack communication
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Coyote and Jackal Definitions

Coyote

A term for a person who smuggles immigrants.
The coyote guided them across the border.
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Nov 10, 2023

Jackal

Scavengers of the wild.
Jackals were seen scavenging after the lions left.
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Coyote

A North American canine species.
A coyote howled in the distance.
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Jackal

A wild canine of Africa and Asia.
The jackal roamed the savanna.
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Coyote

Known for its adaptability.
The coyote has adapted to urban life.
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Jackal

Known to be vocal at dusk and dawn.
Jackals called to each other at twilight.
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Coyote

A symbol of the wild American West.
The coyote is often associated with desert landscapes.
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Jackal

Often a symbol of trickery in stories.
In the fable, the jackal outwitted the lion.
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Coyote

A wolflike carnivorous mammal (Canis latrans) of North and Central America, having grayish-brown or yellowish fur, large erect ears, and a drooping bushy tail. Also called prairie wolf.
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Jackal

Any of several mammals of the genus Canis of Africa, Asia, and southeast Europe, that are chiefly foragers feeding on plants, small animals, and occasionally carrion.
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Coyote

A firefighter who is sent to battle remote, usually very severe forest fires, often for days at a time.
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Oct 19, 2023

Jackal

One who seeks to gain advantage or profit from the difficulties of another.
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Oct 19, 2023

Coyote

(Slang) A person who smuggles undocumented immigrants into the United States, especially across the Mexican border.
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Oct 19, 2023

Jackal

One who performs menial tasks for another.
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Coyote

Canis latrans, a species of canine native to North America.
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Oct 19, 2023

Jackal

Any of certain wild canids of the genus Canis, native to the tropical Old World and smaller than a wolf.
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Oct 19, 2023

Coyote

A smuggler of undocumented immigrants across the land border from Latin America into the United States of America.
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Jackal

A person who performs menial/routine tasks, a dogsbody.
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Coyote

To prospect for gold by manually digging holes into overlying earth, as into a hillside.
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Jackal

(derogatory) A person who behaves in an opportunistic way; especially a base collaborator.
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Coyote

A carnivorous animal (Canis latrans), allied to the dog, found in the western part of North America; - called also prairie wolf. Its voice is a snapping bark, followed by a prolonged, shrill howl.
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Jackal

A jack (the playing card).
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Coyote

Small wolf native to western North America
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Jackal

(rugby union) a player who steals the ball at the tackle
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Coyote

Someone who smuggles illegal immigrants into the United States (usually acress the Mexican border)
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Oct 19, 2023

Jackal

To perform menial or routine tasks
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Oct 19, 2023

Coyote

A forest fire fighter who is sent to battle remote and severe forest fires (often for days at a time)
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Jackal

Any one of several species of carnivorous animals inhabiting Africa and Asia, related to the dog and wolf. They are cowardly, nocturnal, and gregarious. They feed largely on carrion, and are noted for their piercing and dismal howling.
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Oct 19, 2023

Coyote

A clever animal in mythology.
The coyote in the tale tricked the other animals.
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Jackal

One who does mean work for another's advantage, as jackals were once thought to kill game which lions appropriated.
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Oct 19, 2023

Jackal

Old World nocturnal canine mammal closely related to the dog; smaller than a wolf; sometimes hunts in a pack but usually singly or as a member of a pair
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Oct 19, 2023

Jackal

A derogatory term for a person who performs menial tasks for another.
He was treated as a jackal, doing all the dirty work.
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Nov 10, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Are jackals monogamous?

Many jackal species are known for pair-bonding.
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Are coyotes dangerous to humans?

Rarely, they typically avoid humans.
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How do coyotes communicate?

Through vocalizations like howls and yips.
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Can jackals be kept as pets?

No, they are wild animals and not domesticated.
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Are coyotes found outside of North America?

Rarely, they are primarily native to North America.
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Do coyotes have a varied diet?

Yes, they're omnivores and very adaptable.
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Do jackals live in the desert?

Yes, they can live in various habitats including deserts.
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Can jackals be solitary?

They're usually more social, but some can be solitary.
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Do jackals hunt in packs?

Yes, they often hunt in small family groups.
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Are jackals good swimmers?

Yes, some species are known to swim well.
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How large do coyotes get?

They can weigh up to 46 pounds.
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Are coyotes endangered?

No, they're not currently endangered.
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Do coyotes mate for life?

Some pair for long periods, if not for life.
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How do jackals affect their ecosystem?

As scavengers, they help in nutrient recycling.
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What do jackals eat?

They're omnivores but primarily eat small animals and fruit.
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What is the lifespan of a jackal?

About 8 to 9 years in the wild.
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Can coyotes interbreed with other canines?

Yes, with dogs and wolves, creating hybrids.
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Do jackals have a role in mythology?

Yes, often as cunning or wise characters.
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Are coyotes considered pests?

In some areas, due to predation on livestock.
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Do coyotes hibernate?

No, they are active year-round.
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Nov 10, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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