Friday Funny: The Urban Life of Ducks and Raccoons
Brian Holler reported recently that the Canal & River Trust is installing "duck lanes" in London, Birmingham, and Manchester to provide ducks their own safe passage along local waterways. "The temporary spray-painted sections are designed as a light-hearted way to highlight the narrowness of the lanes, and to promote consideration of the feathered friends," according to Holler. "It is hoped by raising awareness for cyclists, walkers and birds safely sharing the restrictive pathways, the animals will feel comfortable to patter up and down the banks as they please."
Jude Isabella writes a separate article about how city life makes raccoons smarter, opening with anecdotes about the savvy behavior or scavenging raccoons in Toronto. A growing body of research, however, suggests that city raccoons are smarter than rural raccoons. Isabella writes: "Suzanne MacDonald, a comparative psychologist who studies raccoon behavior at York University in Toronto, has compared the problem-solving skills of rural and city raccoons. The result? Urbanites trump their country cousins in both intelligence and ability."