Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332



Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332
Textbook Problem

If a mammal injures its leg the resulting pain discourages the animal from putting too much weight on the leg while it is healing. An injured insect shows no such shielding response when its leg is injured. Some have cited the lack of such, a shielding response as evidence that insects do not feel pain. On the other hand, insects do produce substances similar to one of our natural painkillers. Is the presence of these compounds in insects sufficient evidence to conclude that they do perceive pain as we do?

Summary Introduction

To determine: Whether the compounds produced by insects that are similar to natural painkillers are a sufficient evidence to conclude that they perceive pain as mammals do.

Introduction: Pain sensation can be somatic or visceral based on its origin. It is perceived by the nociceptors that are peripheral sensory neurons. They respond to the stimuli such as tissue damage, high temperature, and others. They are present in both invertebrates and vertebrates though the pathways are different.


Pain is an experience of suffering that cannot be measured directly as it is a subjective experience. This may be assessed by the responses to the pain stimuli. When a mammal’s leg is injured, they respond to it and allow them to heal without putting a pressure on it. If an insect is injured, it does not show any such shielding response...

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