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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


The framework proposed by Crump et al. still leaves much doubt about whether invertebrates such as crabs are sentient. For example, many complex behaviours - even in humans - occur without sentience. Also, simple machines could easily meet all of Crump et al.’s eight proposed criteria for sentience. Acknowledging the limitations of what we currently know about sentience is important both for formulating legislation correctly and for advancing scientific understanding of this most puzzling of biological phenomena.

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

Author Biography

Marian Stamp Dawkins is Professor of Animal Behaviour at the University of Oxford and has a long history of research in animal welfare with a particular focus on the animal’s own point of view. Her books include Animal Suffering (1980), Why Animals Matter (2012) and The Science of Animal Welfare (2021). Website