Tag: Urban Organisms

new york city dogs hunt for rats
Back to the Tribe

New York’s Dogs Hunt for Dangerous Game: City Rats

Before the advent of broadcast sports or animal rights legislation, a night at the pub used to mean one thing: watching small terriers snap the spines of dozens, if not hundreds, of rats. Sporting men placed bets on how many rats a dog could kill in a set period of time. Nowadays, dog breeds bred to hunt rats, rabbits, badgers don’t get much of a chance to exercise their killer instincts. The Ryders Alley Trencher-fed Society (RATS) in New York, however, have figured out how to harness their dog’s inborn talents in order to make a (small) dent in the city’s rodent problem.

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tokyo subway
Hyperreality

The Pulsating Heart of Tokyo

An astounding tangle of multi-colored water flowing throughout 18 arteries represents what happens every day in the pulsating heart of Tokyo. This is how Takatsugu Kuriyama, from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, creates a 3D map of the subway system of the Japanese capital, visualizing the city as a creature.

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Screen shot 2013-03-27 at 12.31.26 PM
Anthropocene

Cliff Swallows Are Evolving to Avoid Cars

Cliff swallows, as their name suggests, like to build nests on cliffs and other rocky outcroppings. They also like building their nests on bridges and overpasses, and sunbathe on warm roads. This…

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cigarette-butt-bird-nest
Manufactured Animals

Cigarettes: Bad for You, Good for Birds

Birds use whatever they can get their beaks on to build nests, including cigarette butts. Surprising new research from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México shows that instead of giving baby birds…

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suburban lion cub
Anthropocene

Lions Relocate to the Suburbs

Foxes, coyotes, bobcats, jackals, and dozens of other generalist predators have successfully adapted to suburbia, following their prey to where the grass is green and the landscaping is tasty. At their worst, these mid-sized species will knock over a few garbage cans and make a meal of Fluffy. In Kenya, however, suburban homeowners are now facing lions, animals that exclusively specialize in killing large prey. Too bad humans fit the definition of “large”.

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dyed pigeon
Biocustomization

Artists Paint a Rainbow with Copenhagen’s Pigeons

If you’ve noticed candy-colored pigeons flapping through Copenhagen lately, don’t blame a freak chemical spill. Artist Julien Charriere and photographer Julius von Bismark have built a conveyer-belt device, equipped with seed and…

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glowing canals in Amsterdam
Guided Growth

Amsterdam’s Canals by Bacterial Light

Italian architect Carlo Morsiani would like to take Amsterdam’s canals from dark, dank and filled with old bikes, to brilliant, blue, and presumably still filled with old bikes. Morsiani recently proposed adding…

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