For decades, the idea that insects have feelings was considered a heretical joke – but as the evidence piles up, scientists are rapidly reconsidering.
One balmy autumn day in 2014, David Reynolds stood up to speak at an important meeting. It was taking place in Chicago City Hall – a venue so grand, it’s embellished with marble stairways, 75ft (23m) classical columns, and vaulted ceilings.
As the person in charge of pest management in the city’s public buildings, among other things, Reynolds was there to discuss his annual budget. But soon after he began, an imposter appeared on one of the walls – a plump cockroach, with her glistening black body contrasting impressively with the white paint. As she brazenly sauntered along, it was as if she was mocking him.
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