Fish experience pain with 'striking similarity' to mammals

fish
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A new University of Liverpool study has concluded that the anglers' myth 'that fish don't feel pain' can be dispelled: fish do indeed feel pain, with a similarity to that experienced by mammals including humans.

From hyper-ventilating and loss of appetite to long-term behavioral changes after a painful experience, the review by Dr. Lynne Sneddon explores among and across the and explains its shared molecular foundations and the behaviors associated with avoiding and alleviating it.

Dr. Lynne Sneddon, a biologist and one of the world's leading experts on fish pain, said: "When subject to a potentially painful event fishes show adverse changes in behavior such as suspension of feeding and reduced activity, which are prevented when a pain-relieving drug is provided.

"When the fish's lips are given a painful stimulus they rub the mouth against the side of the tank much like we rub our toe when we stub it.

"If we accept fish experience pain, then this has important implications for how we treat them. Care should be taken when handling fish to avoid damaging their sensitive skin and they should be humanely caught and killed."

The paper is published in a special pain-themed issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.


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More information: Lynne U. Sneddon. Evolution of nociception and pain: evidence from fish models, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2019.0290
Citation: Fish experience pain with 'striking similarity' to mammals (2019, September 25) retrieved 15 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-09-fish-pain-similarity-mammals.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
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Sep 25, 2019
Oh please.

Sep 25, 2019
Yes, knowing that fishes suffer fear and pain, which should be glaringly obvious to any sensible person, means they should be treated with respect and compassion. That means not causing them needless harm. The vast majority of us do not need to consume fish, or any other animals, in order to thrive. Needlessly harming animals for food or 'fun' or any other reason is animal abuse. Fishing is inherently inhumane, and there is no humane way to kill an animal unless it is in their best interest to do so (e.g., genuine euthanasia).

Sep 25, 2019
I don't understand cold blooded versus hot blooded animals very well, but, I've wondered if fish feel heat. If, so swimming in water that is in the 60 F range, may be very uncomfortable when held in our hands which are in the mid 90's F. Humans get very uncomfortable when there is a 20-30 F temperature rise above our body temperatures.

Sep 25, 2019
Oops - i just swallowed the bait...

Sep 26, 2019
Needlessly harming animals for food
.

That is a jump from not causing undue harm to not killing them for food. Mind that nature is "red in tooth and claw", the generic animals evolved as meat eaters - specifically more than half of species are parasites - and plant eating is a late trait. While we don't have to look at nature for our social behavior - that would be the natural fallacy - we should also know that we evolve our own morality.

There is no inherent problem with eating animals. Harming them on the other hand is arguable, as here. Norwegian fish farms have developed pain free kill methods (crush the skull in less than 1/10th of a second).

Sep 26, 2019
This makes me hungry for a surf'n turf

Sep 26, 2019
I don't understand cold blooded versus hot blooded animals very well, but, I've wondered if fish feel heat.


Heat receptors are a generic trait, evolved in the first animals I would assume (and then separately in plants). But the temperature range animals have evolved for and so feel comfortable in (seek up, with the help of heat and cold receptors) vary. I doubt it is coupled to what informally has been called cold and warm blooded traits of thermoregulation [ https://en.wikipe...gulation ].

Almost all fish is poikilothermic - varying in core temperature - due to being facultative instead of obligate endothermic - optionally instead of obligatory generating most heat from own metabolism. Polar fish can't heat much and are often stably cold instead. But we also know of at least one mammal type obligate endothermic regulating fish, the opah [ https://oceanserv...ded.html ].

Sep 26, 2019
Screw fish. Fish are stupid. Can you mention one fish in the history of mankind that's had a record in the top ten? Can you? Can you mention one fish that's written the equivalent of, er, Othello, Shakespeare, Health and efficiency? No, you can't!

Apologies to Derek & Clive (AKA Peter Cook & Dudley Moore).

https://www.imdb....m0177228

Sep 27, 2019
When the fish's lips are given a painful stimulus they rub the mouth against the side of the tank much like we rub our toe when we stub it.

This painful stimulus for guilt, is brought to you, courtesy of the dolphins. Apparently their mocking laughter has lost its lustre. Clever bastards.

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