Do octopuses, squid and crabs have emotions?

If they do, then this may change the way people think of these creatures. In a view shattering report, Kristin Andrews, a York University Professor, and also the York Research Chair in Animal Minds, who is working with the London School of Economics supported by the U.K. government has concluded that there is enough proof that decapod crustacean’s and cephalopod mollusks have feelings.

Scientists have demonstrated that octopuses can solve complex puzzles and that they show preferences for different individuals. This is a huge leap in traditional beliefs. For example, even up to the 1980’s it was believed that human babies who were pre-verbal and animals did not feel pain. However, research has shown that mammals, fish, octopuses and crabs, avoid pain as well as dangerous locations. Mammals have shown empathy and concern when their young are in pain.

photo from dreamstime

This research has opened the door to consider whether or not these animals experience curiosity, affection or look forward to a future reward. But more importantly, just as the United Kingdom is seriously considering amendments to its animal welfare legislation that acknowledges the feelings of these beings, so must the rest of the world.

Sue’s Note: Think about the thought process that it takes to solve complex puzzles and show preference to a specific individual. Wouldn’t that indicate the presence of emotions? When someone prefers one thing over another, isn’t that an example of an emotional reaction? Think about it.   

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