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Submerge(d) - The Official Blog of Manhattan Reefs

Do fish feel pain?

262627303It’s long been touted that fish don’t feel pain. Aquarists may argue this point on both sides of the line. Some may believe that fish feel an entire array of emotions, while others would assume that physical responses to stimulus are autonomic, taking place without any subjective “feeling” driving them. As we move through the 21st century animal behavior science is gaining new traction. As stewards of a variety of our animal kingdom cousins, scientists believe it’s vital that we understand the conscious capacity within them, in an effort to understand how to better create a comfortable life in captivity. Notions about animal consciousness and feeling are often very different when looking at various species. For example, people often view the conscious capacity of dogs or cats, different than that of snakes or spiders. As science progresses, allowing for physical representations of conscious functions to be measured (using MRI and brain scans) we are learning that animals likely experience a vast array of subjective emotions, and species that lack a neocortex (such as fish) use different physiological features and organs to serve the same role.  MORE

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