Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Urban areas and their surrounding environments present a challenge and an opportunity to other species. Some animal populations have adapted successfully, taking advantage of food stores and garbage as predictable trophic resources and man-made structures as secure living space. Archaeological and historical records show that this synanthropic adaptation began in prehistory, probably before the advent of agriculture, for example in some fox populations. Some commensal species show successful ethnophoresy, such as rodent populations that have accompanied human colonization of the planet. Once established, commensal animals form a part of the everyday scene for millions of people. Our response to them ranges from food handouts to extermination, from welcome neighbors to vermin, exemplified by our range of attitudes to urban pigeons. It is argued that commensal animals are an important social and educational resource that deserves further research and encouragement.

Keywords: animal studies, commensal, synanthropic, rodent, fox, pigeon

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.