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Canis Aureus, the golden jackal

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Chapter Summary

The golden jackal is medium-sized with a shoulder height of around 0.4 m. Golden jackals are very common, and can be considered the most successful species of the dog family in South Asia because they live in almost any environment, all over India, from the humid forest country to the dry open plains, including the desert. Jackals in stone reliefs figure mainly in narratives, either as an example of greediness, cunningness or because of their laughter. Regarding religious sculptures, the jackal is restricted to female deities of a ferocious nature: Chamunda, the mother-goddess of the cremation grounds, and another unidentified mother-goddess. The jackal seems to have become associated with Chamunda in stone sculptures not before the late eighth century; earlier sculptures lack the jackal.

Keywords: Canis Aureus; golden jackal; narrative reliefs; religious sculptures; stone sculptures



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