Fossil deposits have revealed that the black-backed jackal is one of the oldest known dog species. it has remained pretty much unchanged since the Pleistocene epoch, up to 2.5 million years ago. This species forms monogamous, life-long pair bonds. What's more, yougsters, from one year's litter often act as "helpers", suppressing their own breeding ambitions and remaining with their parents for a year or more in order to help them raise the next litter. this habit is known to have a greater bearing on pup survival rates in black-backed jackals, than in other jackal species.