Research shows that insects feel pain. Researchers say the pain that insects feel is a sensation but not like human pain. The research was by the University of Sydney in Australia. The co-author of the research report said we don't really think insects feel any kind of pain. He said many invertebrate animals can sense and avoid dangerous things that we think will be painful. He said: "We knew that insects could sense 'pain' but what we didn't know is that an injury could lead to long-lasting hyper-sensitivity...in a similar way to human patients' experiences."
The researchers looked at injuries in fruit flies. The scientists damaged one leg on the flies and let it heal. After the leg healed, the flies became more sensitive. They tried harder to protect their legs. The pain the flies felt stayed in their memory and this changed their behaviour. Neely said if an insect is badly injured, it becomes very sensitive for the rest of their lives. Neely hopes to do more research to better understand how humans feel pain. He said: "We are focused on making new stem cell therapies or drugs that target the underlying cause and stop pain for good."