the Persic shaal, Turkish jakal, canis aureus of Linnaeus, has been thought to be denoted by several Hebrew words variously rendered in the Autho Vers. SEE FOX; SEE DRAGON; SEE WHELP, etc. It is a wild animal of the canine family SEE WOLF; SEE DOG, which in Persia, Armenia, likewise Arabia (Niebuhr, Beschr. 166), and even in Syria (Russel, Aleppo, 2, 61) and Palestine (around Jaffa, Gaza, and in Galilee, Hasselquist, Trav. p. 271; among the hills of Judea, Robinson, 2, 432; 3:188), is frequently met with, attaining a large size (three and a half feet in length), and so closely resembling a fox in color and general appearance as to be at first readily mistaken for that animal. But the jackal has a somewhat peculiarly formed head, not greatly unlike that of a shepherd's dog, about seven inches long, with a very pointed muzzle, and yellowish-red hair which resembles that of the wolf. The color of the body is yellowish-gray above, whitish below; the back and sides sometimes of mixed gray and black; the shoulders, thighs, and legs uniformly tawny-yellow. The tail is round, projecting, and reaching hardly to the heel. The eyes are large, with a round pupil. It is gregarious in its habits, hunting in packs (generally preying upon smaller animals and poultry, but frequently attacking the larger quadrupeds), the pest of the countries where it is found. It burrows in the earth, preferring forests and caverns, where it usually lies hid during the daytime; but at night it issues in companies (sometimes very large) on predatory incursions among the villages, and often the immediate vicinity of towns. Its favorite food is fowls or carrion, and it' will break into graves to 'make a meal upon the corpse, and even carry off and devour young children if found unprotected. In a wild state, this animal has an intolerably offensive odor. Colonel Hamilton Smith, in his Canidae, states that "jackals form a group of crepuscular and nocturnal canines, never voluntarily abroad before dark, and then hunting for prey during the whole night; entering the streets of towns to seek for offals, robbing the hen- roosts, entering out-houses, examining doors and windows, feasting upon all dressed vegetables and ill secured provisions, devouring all the carrion they find exposed, and digging their way into sepulchers that are not carefully protected against their activity and voraciousness; and in the fruit season, in common with foxes, seeking the vineyards, and fattening upon grapes. They congregate in great numbers, sometimes as many as two hundred being found together, and they howl so incessantly that the annoyance of their voices is the theme of numerous apologues and tales in the literature of Asia. This cry is a melancholy sound, beginning the instant the sun sets, and never ceasing till after it has arisen. The voice is uttered and responded to by all within hearing, in an accent of every possible tone, from a short, hungry yelp to a prolonged crescendo cry, rising octave above octave in the shrillness, and mingled with dismal whinings, as of a human being in distress." Their nightly howl has a peculiar wailing tone (Russel, Aleppo, p. 62; Russegger, Reise, 3, 125), greatly resembling the cry of a child. "These sinister, guilty, woebegone brutes, when pressed with hunger, gather in gangs among the graves, and yell in rage, and fight like fiends over their midnight orgies; but on the battlefield is their great carnival" (Thomson, Land hand Book, 1, 134). (See, generally, Bochart, Hieroz. 2, 180 sq., who maintains that the jackal was designated among the Greeks and Romans by the name θώς, θωός, Kampfer, Amoen. 2, 406 sq.; Gmelin, Reise. 2, 81 sq. Güildenstädt, in Nov. coment. acad. Petropol. 20, 449 sq.; Oedmann, Samnnl. 2, 18 sq.)
This animal is very generally regarded as denoted by the name אַי (i, the howler, in the plural, אַיַּים, iyim', "wild beasts of the islands"), represented as inhabiting deserts (Isa 13:22 —; 34:14; Jer 40:16). It is more usually recognized as the שׁוּעָל, shual', of Scripture (ἀ λ ώ τ η ξ, "fox"), especially in the instance of Samson's exploit (Jg 15:4; compare Rosenmüller, Alterthumsk. IV. 2, 156 sq., and Scholia ad Judices, p. 327). See Fox. We have, however, no proof that shual' denotes exclusively the fox, and that iyim', and Solomon's little foxes, refer solely to jackals; particularly as these animals were, if really known, not abundant in Western Asia, even during the first century of the Roman empire; for they are but little noticed by the Greek writers and sportsmen who resided where now they are heard and seen every evening; these authorities offering no remark on the most prominent characteristic of the species, namely, the chorus of howlings lasting all night a habit so intolerable that it is the invariable theme of all the Shemitic writers since the Hegira whenever they mention the jackal. We may therefore infer that shual', if a general denomination, and that qinz', if the etymology be just, is derived from howling or barking, and may designate the jackal, though more probably it includes also those wild Caniaeu which have, a. similar habit. Indeed, as. Ehrenberg — (Icon. et descript. emammal. d(c. 2) has remarked, it is likely that travelers have usually confounded the jackal with the camis Syriacus, while a thorough treatise on the canis aureus is still a desideratum (see Wood, Bible Animals, p. 56).
There is also another term in the O.T., תִּן (tan, in plural by Chaldaism, תִנַּין, tannin', regarded by others as the singular, whence a true plur. תִּנַינַים, tasninim', "dragons"), described as a wild animal inhabiting deserts, and uttering a plaintive cry (Job 30:29; Mic 1:8); often joined (in poetic parallelism) with בִּת יִעֲנָה, "daughter of the ostrich." and אַיַּים, iyimm' (Isa 12:6; Isa 34:13; Isa 43:20). The Syriac understands the jackal, and the Arabic the wolf (comp. Pococke, Comm. in Mic. ad loc.; Schurrer, Diss. philol. p. 323 sq.). It is possibly no more than the canis Syriacus after all. Bochart (Hieroz. 3:222 sq.) interprets it of an endrmous kind of serpent. SEE DRAGON.