The African golden jackal is a WOLF and the 1st new species of canine discovered in 150 years

They look alike, act the same, and have long been considered the same species.

But, in the case of golden jackals, it turns out that appearances can be deceptive.

Comprehensive genetic analysis revealed that different populations are made up of two entirely distinct species, with those from Africa being different from the others.

The African golden wolf, Canis anthus, and the Eurasian golden jackal, C. aureus (pictured), were considered the same species, formerly known as the golden jackal.  Now a new genetic analysis has proven otherwise

The African golden wolf, Canis anthus, (left) and Eurasian golden jackal, C. aureus (right), were considered the same species, formerly known as the golden jackal. Now a new genetic analysis has proven otherwise

The scientific name for the golden jackal is Canis aureus. The researchers proposed to rename the African ones Canis anthus, or the African golden wolf.

“Our results showed that the African and Eurasian golden jackals were distinct for all the genetic markers we tested,” said Klaus-Peter Koepfli, conservation and evolution geneticist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Washington.

This included data from entire genomes, suggesting that these are independently evolving lineages, he added.

Koepfli said the genetic data indicated that the two lineages are not even closely related, with the African population more closely related to gray wolves and coyotes.

The African golden wolf is found in North and East Africa, with possibly some in the Middle East.  The Eurasian golden jackal, meanwhile, is found from southern Europe to the Middle East and across South Asia to the far reaches of Southeast Asia in Vietnam, the researchers said.

The African golden wolf is found in North and East Africa, with possibly some in the Middle East. The Eurasian golden jackal, meanwhile, is found from southern Europe to the Middle East and across South Asia to the far reaches of Southeast Asia in Vietnam, the researchers said.

This is the first discovery of a new species of canids in Africa for over 150 years.

This finding brings the number of living species in the family of mammals called canids, which includes dogs, wolves, foxes, coyotes and jackals, to 36 from 35.

SIMILARITIES BETWEEN WOLVES AND EACH EURASIAN GOLD

The golden jackal is very similar to the gray wolf in general appearance.

There are, however, a few notable differences. For example, he is smaller, lighter, and has shorter legs, with a longer torso.

The end of the tail reaches the heel. and the head is paler than that of the wolf, with a less prominent forehead. The muzzle is narrower and more pointed.

The base color of the creature’s fur is golden, although it varies seasonally, from pale creamy yellow to dark fawn.

Comprehensive genetic analysis revealed that different populations consist of two entirely distinct species, those in Africa being different from the others.

The two species are quite similar in terms of body size, wolf build, head shape, teeth, and fur color.

The African golden wolf is found in North and East Africa, with possibly some in the Middle East.

The Eurasian golden jackal, meanwhile, is found from southern Europe to the Middle East and across South Asia to the edge of Southeast Asia in Vietnam, the researchers said.

“We find no evidence of the Eurasian golden jackal’s presence in mainland Africa,” Koepfli said.

The two species are quite similar in terms of body size, wolf build, head shape, teeth, and fur color.

They thrive in a variety of habitats, from the dry savannas of Africa to the rainforests of Southeast Asia. They are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of foods, from small mammals to fruit.

Researchers determined that the African golden jackal line separated from the line comprising gray wolves and coyotes about 1.3 million years ago, while the Eurasian golden jackal line separated about 600,000 years earlier.

“One of the main lessons of our study is that even among well-known and widespread species such as golden jackals, there is the potential for the discovery of hidden biodiversity, and that such discoveries are made even more possible by using data sampled from whole genomes, ‘said Koepfli.

Researchers determined that the African golden jackal line separated from the line comprising gray wolves and coyotes about 1.3 million years ago, while the Eurasian golden jackal line separated 600 000 years earlier.

Researchers determined that the African golden jackal line separated from the line comprising gray wolves and coyotes about 1.3 million years ago, while the Eurasian golden jackal line separated 600 000 years earlier.


Source link