Animal Sentience

Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


Colin Klein and Andrew B. Barron, Insects have the capacity for subjective experience


The aim of this commentary is to expand the discussion about subjective experience to other arthropods, notably crustaceans. Various species of crustaceans show responses consistent with their feeling pain. Hermit crabs also show prolonged investigation of new shells. They clearly attend to and integrate information from a wide variety of sources that enable them to evaluate the quality of the new shell relative to their current shell. These observations too are consistent with their having subjective experience.

Author Biography

Robert W. Elwood, Emeritus Professor of Animal Behaviour, Queen’s University, Belfast, works on information-gathering, motivation, aggression and pain. https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=JoEJgSUAAAAJ&hl=en