Difference Between Fox and Jackal

Fox vs Jackal

There are certain instances; people believe that fox and jackal are two names for the same animal, while some people know that these are two animals but the differentiating between them is unknown. That is mainly because they both are similar-looking carnivorous animals. This article intends to clarify the distinctions between fox and jackal.


Foxes are carnivorous mammals, which are medium to small in body size. They belong to Family: Canidae and most of them belong to Genus: Vulpes. There are about 37 species of foxes. They have a characteristically long and narrow snout, beautiful and hairy coat, and a brush-like tail. People call an adult healthy male fox as a Reynard and an adult female as a Vixen. A Reynard weighs about six kilograms while females weigh slightly less than males due to the size difference between sexes. The habitat of the fox is range from deserts to glacier and they are more wild than domesticated. The desert living species do not have large ears with short fur to adapt to the conditions while temperate species, viz. Arctic fox, have long fur and small ears. Fox is an omnivorous animal preferring both animal and plant matter as food. Nevertheless, most of them are predators and their habit of burying extra food for later consumption is notable. Usually, foxes like to hunt their prey by means of group hunting. There is a notable change in lifespan between wild and captive foxes; in wild, it is about ten years, but in captivity they can survive for a longer time. However, hunting foxes has been practising by people. In addition to this controversial sport, other vehicle accidents and diseases have caused the average lifespan to be around 2 – 3 years in the wild.


According to the scientific classification, Jackals also fall in Family: Canidae and in Genus: Canis. There are three distinctive species of jackals, distributed commonly in dry areas of Asia and Africa. Golden jackal range in Asia through Middle East and Mediterranean countries down to Central and Northern Africa. Side-Striped jackal and Black-Backed jackal is ranging in Central and Southern Africa. Usually a jackal is 1 metre long, 0.5 metre tall, and weighs 15 kilograms. They are excellent predators and opportunistic omnivores those have well developed canine teeth for the predation. Their long legs prove their ability to run fast, which is useful in predation. Their snout is characteristically elongated and muscular. Interestingly, jackals like to live in pairs and male marks the territory through urination of defecation. In wild, jackals live around eleven years, whereas it is around 16 years in captivity.

Difference between Fox and Jackal

Fox Jackal
Dog-like carnivore in Genus: Vulpes Dog-like carnivore in Genus: Canis
37 species Only 3 species
Distributed from temperate to desert environments Mostly found in dry environments of Asia, Souther Eastern Europe and Central & Northern Africa
Smaller body, and not elongated Large body, and elongated
Omnivorous food habits Mostly carnivorous and omnivorous habits are extremely rare
Beautiful coat with brushy tail Dull coat colour
Shorter snout Longer snout
Prefer living in small family groups Prefer to live in pairs
  • Hindian

    Which is more close to the Dog? Jackal or Wolf or Fox?

    • Dislya

      Dogs have been bred from wolves. So wolf is the closest relative of our modern dogs.

      • Elroy Foster

        Wolf wasn’t one of the options? Between the two I think is what he was asking.

        • Icyice Isff

          he did type “Jackal or Wolf or Fox?”

          • Ady99

            Jackal for sure. The even mix Jackal with a dog and they call it Sulimov dog.