Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


Andrew Crump, Heather Browning, Alex Schnell, Charlotte Burn, and Jonathan Birch, Sentience in decapod crustaceans: A general framework and review of the evidence


Crump et al.’s framework is a powerful tool designed to assist decisions on the ethical treatment of decapod crustaceans. However, the question of whether decapods are sentient (i.e., whether they feel), remains open, perhaps indefinitely. More optimistically, we might design experiments that distinguish among different levels of awareness, sometimes viewed as components of sentience. We should strike a balance between assuming that all organisms are sentient and making unnecessary anatomical assumptions about sentience. Refining current experiments may provide concrete insights about awareness in Decapoda and other taxa.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Author Biography

Mark Briffa, is Professor of Animal Behaviour, University of Plymouth, UK. He teaches evolution, animal behaviour and marine biology and does research on contest behaviour and animal personality in hermit crabs and sea anemones. Website