Roly-Poly Hedgehogs Loving Life in the City
The spiny mammals have figured out how to avoid people by roaming Hamburg's parks at night, new research suggests.
As she captured hedgehogs for her study in one of Hamburg's many parks, Lisa Warnecke discovered just how secretive these little creatures can be.
Most of the people she met had no idea that their town had a thriving hedgehog population, let alone that they roamed the city parks at night in search of food and mates.
“They told me there weren’t any hedgehogs in this park, and yet I had just tagged seven of them,” says Warnecke, a biology postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hamburg in Germany. (See "How Wild Animals Are Hacking Life in the City.")
In studying these urban dwellers, Warnecke was surprised to find they've adapted to city life—for instance by shrinking their home ranges,