May 19, 2024

Consciousness in animals: and they still feel

HBut animals have consciousness? An international coalition of at least a dozen scientists sees a “realistic possibility” of making it happen – and has the “opportunity”.New York Declaration on Animal Awareness“Signed. Their goal is to stimulate further research into this matter and increase awareness of animal welfare.

The authors of the statement focus their understanding of consciousness on consciousness. “It comes down to the question of which animals can have subjective experiences,” they wrote. This can include sensory experiences – such as a certain touch or taste – or experiences that feel good or bad, such as joy, pain and fear.

The statement said that there is strong scientific evidence that mammals and birds have consciousness. Empirical evidence also suggests that there is at least a realistic possibility of conscious experience for all vertebrates, as well as many invertebrates. But if this exists, “it is irresponsible to ignore this possibility when making decisions that affect this animal,” the ad concludes.

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The Declaration does not include any specific policy recommendations, and there is a wide range of views on ethical, legal, and political issues among the signatories. “There is agreement that certainty about awareness should not be a prerequisite for assessing risks to animal safety,” the report says.

If there is a realistic possibility that an animal could have consciousness – for example, that octopuses could suffer – then this possibility must be taken into account in political contexts. For example, when making decisions about whether octopus farming should be supported.

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The advertising website lists a whole series of studies providing evidence that animals are conscious:

Archive - April 1, 2014, Bavaria, Munich: A crow runs across a meadow.  (To the German Press Agency:

A crow running across a meadow

Source: German News Agency

In a 2020 article in the magazine “SciencesIn a published study, a team from the University of Tübingen reported that crows can be trained to report what they see. The birds were taught to use their head movements to report whether or not they had been shown a visual stimulus.

Archives - June 4, 2020, Berlin: Octopus "Manfred" In its own pool at AquaDom & SEA LIFE Berlin.  Snails, mussels and crabs are his favorite foods.  (To the German Press Agency:

Octopus in an aquarium

Source: German News Agency

Octopuses avoid pain and appreciate pain relief: this was the result of a 2021 study in “iSciencePublished study. In the experiment, octopuses avoided the room in which they received an acetic acid injection. However, if the animals received local anesthesia in this chamber, they developed a preference for it.

“In a rat or a human, we would infer from this pattern that the acid injection caused pain that was relieved by lidocaine, so we should be prepared to draw the same conclusions for the octopus,” the New York Advertising website says.

ARCHIVES - August 8, 2020, USA, Elkton: A garter snake creeps over a rock at dusk after fishing in the Umpqua River.  (To the German Press Agency:

A garter snake creeps over a rock at dusk

Source: German News Agency

Garter snakes appear to recognize themselves in a modified form of mirror testing. The idea behind the mirror test, which was developed in the early 1970s, is to see if the person being tested has self-awareness. To do this, a part of the body is marked that it can only see in the mirror, and then the behavior is observed: if the animal explores the marked part of the body in front of the mirror or tries to rub it. Off, this is evidence that he recognized his reflection as himself.

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Since snakes rely primarily on scents to find their way in their environment, 2024 in the magazine “Procedures b“A study published by the British Royal Society used cotton pads soaked in different scents: the snake's scent, its own scent with another scent mark, the other scent alone, the strange snake's scent, and the strange's scent. A snake with a mark. In fact, garter snakes have been studying their distinct scent for longer than… Anything else, suggesting that animals recognize their own scents and notice when their scent changes.

Archive - September 11, 2023, Brandenburg, Krausneck: A bumblebee foraging for nectar in the flowering heather of the dry meadows in front of the Cathedral of a Bathing Paradise in the Tropical Islands.  (To the German Press Agency:

A bumblebee searching for nectar in flowering heather

Source: German News Agency

In 2022 in “Animal behaviorIn the published study, a British-led research team described that bumblebees exhibit playful behaviour. In one experiment, insects rolled wooden balls in a way consistent with five characteristics of play. For example, rolling the balls had no apparent purpose and was more apparent when the bumblebees were relaxed, which the researchers said suggested they found the rolling enjoyable.

Archive - May 8, 2018, Berlin: May 8, 2018, Berlin: A captive American lobster crawls into an enclosure at the zoo.  One month after the start of the fishing campaign, a fisherman from Berlin managed to catch more than 8,500 red swamp crabs in his net.  (to "More than 8,500 marsh crabs were caught in Berlin" From June 2, 2018) (to the German Press Agency:

An American lobster was caught crawling into a container

Source: German News Agency

three studiesbetween 2014 and 2017 Indifferent Specialized magazines Published research has shown, on the one hand, that crayfish can experience “fear-like” states – whether in situations where they have been exposed to mild stimuli or electric shocks, or after fights with other species. The animals, on the other hand, reacted to anxiety medications, and when treated in this way, for example, they overcame their fear of the brightly lit maze.

Archive - 29 July 2022, Lower Saxony, Harlesiel: The sand crab is one of

The beach crab is one of the “little five” of the Wadden Sea

Source: German News Agency

The common sand crab uses memory to make decisions when faced with a difficult decision. At least two researchers from Great Britain came to this conclusion after conducting experiments on animals. For the year 2024 in “the animalsIn a published study, they examined how sand crabs compared their aversion to bright light to their aversion to electric shocks. So animals usually seek shelter to escape bright light, but prefer light if they have been traumatized in that shelter in the past. According to the researchers, their decision depends on how severe the shock was and how bright the light was.

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