- Sentience redirects here, due to the confusion between the terms sentience and sapience. Almost all creatures on Spore are assumed to be sentient.
Definitions and DistinctionsEdit
Sapience is the ability of an organism or entity to act with judgement or intelligence.  Sapience is synonymous with some usages of the term sentient, though the two are not exactly equal; sentience is the ability to sense or feel, while sapience is the ability to think about sensations, feelings and ideas. Sapience is essentially a higher function than sentience.
Sentience is the capacity for basic consciousness — the ability to feel or perceive, not necessarily including the faculty of self-awareness.  The word sentient is often confused with the word sapient, which can connote knowledge, higher consciousness, or apperception. The root of the confusion is that the word "conscious" has a number of different meanings in English. (It's easier to distinguish the two by looking at their Latin roots: sentire, "to feel"; and sapere, "to know".) Sapience is a noun that comes from the Latin adjective sapiens which means wise or intelligent. You may have heard the word sapiens in the binomial nomenclature for humans: Homo sapiens.
The advent of sapience in Spore marks the reaching of the Tribal stage, achieved by upgrading a creature's intelligence until it reaches a critical level in the creature editor.
During Space Stage, if you abduct sapient species and beam them down on an unclaimed inhabitable planet, they will build a fire and attack or run away from animals. If the planet is T2 or less the sapient will die shortly after making a fire.
If put near a city (especially a space-stage city), most of the time they will make a beeline towards the city hall and then never come back out. If the city's residents are of the same species as they are, they will instead throw a little fit towards your craft for a few seconds, after which they will simply become part of the crowds, engaging in the same activities (or lack thereof) as they do.
Sometimes before doing so, the creature beamed down usually has some sort of interaction with the local citizens. These seem to vary in a semi-random manner, but seems to occur more often with civ-stage cities. For example, a Space Stage sapient beamed down into a Religious Civ Stage city may be bowed down to by the locals; on the other hand, the same Spacefaring sapient placed in a militaristic city may be immediately gunned down by the local defenses OR being told to do push-ups by the locals.
Tribal and Civilization Stage sapients placed into a Space Stage city have a wider range of reactions. Some may begin screaming and attacking the populace; others might have what appears to be a celebration with the locals; others yet are forced to do work for the locals. This reaction only lasts a few seconds before the newly introduced sapient disappears into the City Hall.
Be aware that once beamed down onto an occupied planet, a sentient being will then count as a citizen of whoever is occupying it, and abducting them again will anger the occupants the same as if you had taken one of their own.