As cities expand, it’s not just humans who are becoming increasingly urbanized. Concrete jungles and actual jungles are no longer realms apart, and as natural and human-created environments bleed into each other and intertwine, animals that walk on four legs, six or eight legs, fly or slither are calling cities home more and more.
In Feral Cities: Adventures With Animals in the Urban Jungle, released this month by Chicago Review Press, author Tristan Donovan finds that just like shifting from rural to urban living changed humans, city living is changing animals in sometimes surprising ways. At the same time, urban wildlife is changing the way some cities operate and use their resources. Here are just a few examples of that back and forth from the book and other recent research.
1. They get bigger
For some animals, urban areas are all-you-can-eat buffets. There are bugs, garbage, and prey animals to eat, and even humans who will feed you. Sometimes this means that animals eat better in the city than they do in “the wild.”