Gender differences, responsiveness and memory of a potentially painful event in hermit crabs

  title={Gender differences, responsiveness and memory of a potentially painful event in hermit crabs},
  author={Mirjam Appel and Robert William Elwood},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},

No discrimination shock avoidance with sequential presentation of stimuli but shore crabs still reduce shock exposure

There was no discrimination shock avoidance with sequential presentation of stimuli but, consistent with pain, shore crabs used other tactics to reduce shock exposure and this behaviour is only partially consistent with the idea of pain.

Shock avoidance by discrimination learning in the shore crab (Carcinus maenas) is consistent with a key criterion for pain

Whether shore crabs placed within a brightly lit chamber learn to avoid one of two dark shelters when that shelter consistently results in shock is examined.

Hermit crabs, shells, and sentience

  • R. Elwood
  • Environmental Science
    Animal Cognition
  • 2022
Hermit crabs have an intimate relationship with gastropod shells and show numerous activities by which they locate, select, and change shells in different contexts. They gather information about new

Pain perception in crayfish (Astacus astacus): empirical observations and ethical consequences

In Belgium a public debate on pain perception in crustaceans was sparked upon a popular television program showing the dismembering and grilling of live lobsters by a top-chef. In crayfish little is

Electric shock causes physiological stress responses in shore crabs, consistent with prediction of pain

The finding of the stress response, coupled with previous findings of long-term motivational change and avoidance learning, fulfils the criteria expected of a pain experience.

Discrimination between nociceptive reflexes and more complex responses consistent with pain in crustaceans

  • R. Elwood
  • Biology, Psychology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
  • 2019
Behavioural and physiological criteria that distinguish nociception from potential pain in crustaceans are considered, indicating central processing rather than mere reflexes and that pain in animals should be defined in ways that do not depend on human pain experience.

Aversive responses by shore crabs to acetic acid but not to capsaicin

Pain and suffering in invertebrates?

Criteria that might distinguish nociception from pain are reviewed and an ability to use complex information suggests sufficient cognitive ability for the animal to have a fitness benefit from a pain experience is suggested.



Pain experience in hermit crabs?

Motivational change during resource assessment by hermit crabs

Effect of morphine and naloxone on a defensive response of the crab Chasmagnathus granulatus

Passive avoidance learning in the crab Chasmagnathus granulatus

Memory of Social Partners in Hermit Crab Dominance

It is demonstrated that the long-clawed hermit crab, Pagurus longicarpus, uses a system of social partner discrimination more refined than previously shown, and is able to classify conspecifics into two 'heterogeneous subgroups', i.e. familiar vs. unfamiliar individuals.