Black-backed Jackals (Canis mesomelas) and Spotted Hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) are not closely related.Β 

Spotted Hyenas (often spelt as hyaenas) are from a suborder within the Carnivora called Feliformia which consists of “Cat-like” carnivores. Spotted Hyenas are not members of the dog or cat families, and are in their own Hyena family (Hyaenidae).Β  They are one of the smallest in the class Mammalia with not much diversity.Β  Whilst spotted hyenas may have a similar shape to dogs, they are in fact more closely related to the cat family.

Jackals are part of the dog family (Canidae).

Both Jackals and Hyenas scavenge, however many people do not realise that Spotted hyenas are excellent hunters.Β  Generally speaking, Jackals scavenge more than Spotted Hyenas, but also hunt rodents and other small animals and birds.

JackalsΒ  live in pairs and mate for life. Β  Whereas Spotted Hyenas are very social and live in groups called ‘clans’ which are female-dominant.