Octopuses are intelligent creatures that can feel pain, according to new research

Appeared in the newspaper The scienceA new study from the London School of Economics (LSE) suggests that ” there is sufficient evidence to conclude that decapods and cephalopods reasonable says study co-author Christine Andrews, a philosopher and chair of animal spirit studies at the University of York. This study was commissioned by the UK government, which is already in talks to change its animal welfare legislation to include these animals as sentient beings that can feel pain.

While the UK government is at the forefront of invertebrate law, the rest of the world is not. According to researcher Christine Andrews, the fight to recognize mammals and some vertebrates as intelligent beings has only recently begun in the West. Note that it was not until the 1980s that preverbal children were considered capable of feeling pain.

>> See also: Do ​​plants feel pain?

Can octopuses and crustaceans feel pain?

Obviously, animals don’t describe pain or their emotions the way humans do, but research strongly suggests their existence, Christine Andrews says in her study. Several studies continue to highlight how fish, cephalopods and, to a lesser extent, crabs avoid pain and dangerous places.

Previously, the ability of octopuses to dream, solve complex problems, or taste their prey by touching it has been studied. In addition, the researchers noticed that they can give preference to different people. Example? They saw how female octopuses threw projectiles at persistent males.

Female octopuses launch projectiles at persistent males

Left photo: Octopus species “octopus tetricus” throws mud into the water. Right photo: An octopus falls into a cloud of silt.

>> See also: Female octopuses launch projectiles at persistent males

These studies do suggest a form of emotion in these wonderful and mysterious animals. However, the discussion is very lively. Competition ? Changes in human decision making when handling invertebrates. “If they can no longer be considered immune to pain, the experience of invertebrates must become part of the moral landscape of our species.developed by researcher Christine Andrews.

Some people still remain of the opinion that these invertebrates, such as octopuses or crabs, simply react to negative stimuli. ” But pain is just a morally significant emotion.” the researcher notes “Invertebrates such as octopuses may experience other emotions, such as curiosity for exploration, attachment to particular people, or excitement about a future reward. She develops.

As animal advocates point out, looking at the susceptibility of invertebrates opens the door to an ethical and moral dilemma and therefore influences how we treat them. But there is still a long way to go. ” Right now, we don’t have enough scientific knowledge to know exactly what the appropriate treatment should be for certain species.” concludes researcher Christine Andrews. May we soon see changes in our eating habits or in the way we experiment with invertebrates? Case to follow.

>> See also: Is an octopus a genius with its 9 brains?

Originally published on 03/03/2022

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