Insect Pain receptors

Kenelm Philip fnkwp at
Sat Dec 18 21:45:30 EST 1999

> If we wonder whether insects have pain receptors we should also wonder
> why humans and vertebrates have pain receptors.

Well, here we get into 'Just So' stories again. It would seem clear that
long-lived K-strategists that have the ability to repair themselves would
profit from a sense of pain--and vertebrates do indeed have specialized
pain receptors in their nervous systems.

Short-lived r-strategists that do not have comparable abilities for self-
repair would not need to invest in such mechanisms. There's always one
more individual... People have looked long and hard at insect nervous
systems, and no pain receptors have been found, as far as I know. And there
are some behavioral details that indicate insects are something very
different from vertebrates. Decapitated humans don't do so well at bed-
room sports, for example...

> would be presumptuous to assume that insects don't have comparable
> nervous system features.

It's not so presumptuous when you look for something and don't find it.

							Ken Philip
fnkwp at

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