Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


Balcombe’s book is filled with information on the biology, behavior, and life history of fishes. I do not agree with all his premises. I am still somewhat perplexed about the discussion of whether fish feel pain; I am not sure whether the distinction between nociception and pain makes any difference. Overall, however, his treatment of the principles of both natural and sexual selection is comprehensive and accurate, and has greatly increased my knowledge and awareness of the biology, ethology, and potential for sentience in fishes. In summary, this work has exposed me to new ideas about how to examine fishes and it has forced me to think about and explore many of the concepts presented.

Author Biography

Jay R. Stauffer, Jr. is Distinguished Professor of Ichthyology at Penn State University. His research is on endangered fishes, freshwater fish behavior, the impact of introduced fishes, and the systematics and zoogeography of freshwater fishes.