Leszek Rychlik and co-authors (mainly from the University of Lisbon, Portugal) tested average differences in behaviour as well as the inter-individual variation in behaviour in rural and urban populations of shrews belonging to two species differing in life history and time since synurbanization: the fast-paced Sorex araneus and the slow-paced Crocidura russula. As predicted, urban shrews of both species were bolder than rural ones, although not more aggressive. Additionally, urban populations showed higher among-individual variation in both boldness and aggression. All differences were smaller in S. araneus than C. russula, possibly due to their generally bolder behaviour and shorter time since synurbanization. Large behavioural differences among the individuals of urban populations might allow them to better cope with the various and constantly changing challenges of city life for animals.

The paper is available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2022.02.012