Insects are conscious, according to study


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A mass of ants behaving like a fluid so they can get things done

To bee, or not to bee…


I Stink, Therefore I Am.


I’m a little surprised by this, I wouldn’t have thought that 250,000 neurons would be enough to do consciousness. Maybe it’s a lot simpler than I thought.


To be fair, the linked article only mentions bees, which have 1 million neurons, and the researchers note that they mean a very rudimentary consciousness.


I know, at least in our house, since my daughter – then three – named a rolly polly “Twenty Legs Wilson”, (and since then all Rolly Pollys are in fact manifestations of Twenty Legs Wilson) they are afforded complete due process.


Great, like I need another reason to feel guilty for all the bugs I’ve killed.

The whole Buddhism/kharma thing was bad enough.


So wasps are consciously assholes?


Ditto. If only I had known sooner… from now on I’m swearing off of pinning their wings to a cork board and forcing them to look into my eyes as I slowly strangle them with a tweezers.


This is begging the question, no? Insects are conscious because in insect brains, consciousness appears to be associated with the midbrain?

(Also, they compared scans of insect brains to scans of insects? But I assume that’s just a typo.)


Great. Now how are you going to achieve orgasm?


This adds moral clarity to the need to kill them.


Another recent study would seem to support the idea that dead fish are conscious, according to these criteria.



Points at GOP presidential candidates.


“Wasps are the skinheads of the insect world.”

-Craig Ferguson

Once upon a time I thought of that as an insult to skinheads. Now I’m not so sure.


The little guys have TONS of behaviors, and not all instinct. Lots of young arthropod predators (mantids, jumping spiders, robber flies, etc.) spend quite a bit of time improving and refining their technique

Also, they can be terribly fun to watch with the right mindset!


I would of thought hornets more so. But I assume Craig had some bad experience with wasps.


I’m kind of unsurprised by this. Bees are highly social animals that have shown the capacity for some pretty abstract reasoning in tests. (E.g. in one study, they taught them to navigate a maze by either taking the turn indicated by a symbol they had been shown before, or taking turns that were marked by a symbol different from the one they were shown, variously. That is, bees can navigate based on the idea of “same as” and “different from.”) Although I imagine that bee consciousness is incomprehensibly simple compared to our own.


I will be more impressed when they manage to prove people are conscious.