Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Commentary Type

Open Commentary


Woodruff concludes that ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) are sentient and that the pallium contributes to sentience in these fishes. He gives a detailed description of the pallium; however, he assumes that similar structures in fishes and tetrapods support similar behaviors, capabilities, and functions. I reject the premise that similarities in structure imply similarities in function. The fact that a selected species of fish may exhibit behaviors, reactions, and/or anatomy suggestive of sentience does not necessarily generalize to all teleosts.

Author Biography

Jay R. Stauffer, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Ichthyology, Penn State University Honorary Research Associate, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Grahamstown, SA, does research on endangered fishes, the systematics, zoogeography and behavior of freshwater fish, and the impact of introduced fishes.