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Children's LiteratureEverything has a purpose in the natural world. Death is a part of life and is necessary for the continued existence of life for all animals. In Africa, jackals are part of the integral "clean-up process" in the life cycle of African animals. Markle documents the life cycle of a male black-backed jackal, from his birth to the establishment of his own territory with his mate. The author describes jackals' behavior and characteristics in detail, including how they forage for food and how they defend and mark their territory. The text itself reads like the narration of a television documentary and provides keen insight into jackals. Full-color photos show jackals in their environment and add depth to the narration. Included at the end of the text are a few brief paragraphs that encourage children to study the pictures more closely and notice how jackals act and display different characteristics in different situations. This title is part of the "Animal Scavengers" series. 2005, Lerner Publications Company, Ages 8 to 12.