The Death Jackals' species name, Spinae Mortem, comes from the Latin word spinae, meaning "spine," and mortem, meaning "death." In the creatures' bio provided on a Chinese marketing site for Kong: Skull Island, their species name was given as Spinae Folium, which again comes from the Latin word spinae and the Latin word folium, meaning "leaf."
Despite seemingly being a type of mammal related to canines, the Death Jackal bears a heavy resemblance to flesh-eating dromaeosaurs like Velociraptor, standing horizontally on two legs with its forelimbs held in the air and a long tail suspended in the air behind it. The Death Jackal has no defined neck, and a large elongated head. The creature's skin is wrinkly and gray in color, and adorned with rounded bumps and yellow stripes. The Death Jackal possesses a mane of spiky hair-like fibers around its head, and another patch of these fibers on its exposed spine atop its back. According to the creature's bio, these spikes are as sharp as razor wire.
The Death Jackals are ravenous predatory creatures that are known to prey on each other or even themselves when a kill is hard to come by. According to Monarch's profile on the Death Jackals, it is believed that the Death Jackals' appetite can only be satisfied by eating their own kind. The profile also characterizes the Death Jackals as extremely violent and hostile animals, stating that "it is hard to imagine that anything other than hatred flows through their veins."
In 1995, while searching for their downed V-22 on Skull Island, a team of Monarch operatives was attacked by a pack of Death Jackals. The creatures brutally killed and dismembered one of the team members, Helen Karsten, and chased the rest to a cave, where they mauled Evgenij Medov, another member of the team. Suddenly, King Kong appeared outside the cave, then reached into the cave and crushed several Death Jackals in his hand. Some of the Death Jackals ran outside the cave, only for Kong to crush them with his foot.
While Riccio was holding Aaron, Medov, Ato, and two other Iwis at gunpoint, a pack of Death Jackals appeared. They provided a distraction enabling Aaron and the others to escape while Riccio was left behind to deal with the Death Jackals. Riccio was able to fight off the Death Jackals with his gun and escaped as well.
Death Jackals possess sharp teeth and claws, which allow them to maim and kill their prey. The manes of spiky hair on the Death Jackals' heads and backs are incredibly sharp and deadly as well. In addition, they seem to hunt in packs, allowing them to overwhelm large groups of prey.
An entire pack of Death Jackals was no match for the much larger King Kong, who was able to effortlessly kill them all by crushing them with either his hand or foot. According to Monarch's profile on the Death Jackals, their cannibalistic tendencies make them a bigger threat to themselves than humanity.
The Death Jackals' roar is written as "ROUK" in Skull Island: The Birth of Kong.
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