Egyptian Golden Jackals are actually wolves

Interesting new study indicating that an unusual subspecies of Golden Jackal actually represents the earliest diverging lineage of holarctic wolf.

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0016385

Study could use improvement (sample size and distribution of samples, etc)…presumably “true” Golden Jackals are sympatric with these African wolves, and it’s unclear to me the extent of the actual range of the latter.

7 Comments
  1. Bob Berghaier 9 years ago

    Jon,

    I first became aware of this study earlier this week. I’m not totally surprised since canid genetics is much in flux in North America as well. There is a debate going on here on just what an eastern coyote is. Coyotes east of the State of Ohio have much wolf DNA very similar to red wolf genetics. I wish I could remember who first proposed this idea, but some biologist believe that the entire genus is actually one super species that adapts it’s size and behavior based on its principle prey. For example Artic & so called Timber wolves are large because they prey primarily on large ungulates. Coyotes and jackals are smaller since they prey on smaller animals. Also most memebers of the genus can interbreed. Room for much thought.

    Keep up your good work on my most favorite blog.

    Best regards,

    Bob

  2. Profile photo of Jon Hall
    Jon Hall 9 years ago

    This is interesting Morgan and Bob .. I saw a couple of Golden Jackals (African WOlves) in Egypt but they were too distant to get much sense of how different they were from their relatives.

    And Bob – I cannot claim credit for that post. It was made by Morgan CHurchill. And Vladimir Dinets sent me the same information too. It is a bit annoying WordPress like that so can I recommend to everyone we all sign our names unless you are happy for me to take credit for everything!

  3. vladimir dinets 9 years ago

    Well, the authors claim that all “golden jackals” in Ethiopian highlands are wolves, so just head there if you’d like a certain sighting. They hang around the guesthouse in Bale Mts Nat’l Park at night (together with striped jackals), and you can also easily see Simien wolves up on the plateau the next morning.

  4. Profile photo of morganchurchill Author
    morganchurchill 9 years ago

    I think more work needs to be done here, as I mentioned. The fact that Golden Jackals live in Kenya, India, and Europe, but none of the places in between strikes me as odd. Perhaps their are golden jackals living in sympatry with the “African Wolf”, or perhaps additional genetic markers will show completely different results.

  5. Coke Smith 9 years ago

    Fascinating – sounds like we may have a ring species here?

  6. Lajos Nemeth-Boka 8 years ago

    Just find this page, I think you might like this link of mine.
    Still I think the only pictures ever taken about this taxa.
    According to Colin Groves 47 museum specimen exist:
    http://www.greeneye.org.uk/news_0035_jackal.htm
    http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/egyptian-wolf.html#cr

    Cheers, Lajos

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