Cover: How do wingless insects know where to land when falling through tree canopies? Zeng et al. (pp. 2305-2314) conducted a series of lab experiments to find the directional cues used by nymphs of the stick insect Extatosoma tiaratum during gliding. E. tiaratum nymphstarget dark surfaces associated with vertically oriented and sharply contrasted edges, favoring the contrasts between luminance over coloration. This strategy may help them to quickly locate the dark or shaded sides of the nearest tree trunks when falling through the complex visual environments of tree canopies. Photo credit: Yu Zeng.
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Energy metabolism and cellular homeostasis trade-offs provide the basis for a new type of sensitivity to ocean acidification in a marine polychaete at a high-CO2 vent: adenylate and phosphagen energy pools versus carbonic anhydrase
Summary: Evidence exists for a previously undocumented type of metabolic sensitivity to high PCO2 in a non-model marine invertebrate following an experiment conducted in situ at a high PCO2 vent site.
Electrical aspects of the osmorespiratory compromise: TEP responses to hypoxia in the euryhaline killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) in freshwater and seawater
Summary: A previously undetected consequence of the osmorespiratory compromise is that acute hypoxia causes marked changes in gill transepithelial potential, which will affect ionoregulation in both freshwater and seawater killifish.
One antenna, two antennae, big antennae, small: total antennae length, not bilateral symmetry, predicts odor-tracking performance in the American cockroach Periplaneta americana
Summary: Plume tracking in Periplaneta americana does not require bilateral olfactory input. The total size of the olfactory sensory structure(s), not its bilateral symmetry, predicts the cockroach's tracking performance.
Muscle contractile properties as an explanation of the higher mean power output in marmosets than humans during jumping
Summary: During jumping, the muscle mass-specific power of marmosets is more than twice that of humans. This difference in mechanical output in vivo is explained by differences in skeletal muscle contractile properties.
Sprint sensitivity and locomotor trade-offs in green anole (Anolis carolinensis) lizards
Highlighted Article: Locomotor performance and its predictors can vary dramatically across substrates for the same individual, which should be considered in ecomorphological studies.
Myoglobin oxygen affinity in aquatic and terrestrial birds and mammals
Summary: Myoglobin oxygen affinity varies among terrestrial and aquatic birds and mammals, with long-duration diving species having greater myoglobin oxygen affinity.
Cross-training in birds: cold and exercise training produce similar changes in maximal metabolic output, muscle masses and myostatin expression in house sparrows (Passer domesticus)
Summary: Cold and exercise training in house sparrows increases thermogenic and exercise capacities and pectoralis masses and modifies expression of the myostatin system, consistent with a mechanistic role for myostatin down-regulation.
Flight-motor-driven respiratory airflow increases tracheal oxygen to nearly atmospheric level in blowflies (Calliphora vicina)
Highlighted Article: Blowflies increase their tracheal oxygen concentration during flight above the resting level by a unidirectional autoventilatory airflow.
Interactive effects of early and later nutritional conditions on the adult antioxidant defence system in zebra finches
Summary: Experimentally manipulating the intake of dietary antioxidants in young zebra finches shows that early-life nutrition can shape later-life antioxidant defences.
Fluctuating temperatures and ectotherm growth: distinguishing non-linear and time-dependent effects
Summary: Growth rates measured at constant temperatures do not correctly predict mean growth under fluctuating conditions because of both non-linear and time-dependent effects. This has important implications for modeling ecological responses to climate change.
Regional modulation of the response to glutathione in Hydra vulgaris
Summary: A functional analysis of GABAergic and glycinergic activity aimed at drawing a neurochemical map of Hydra signalling circuitry.
How to know which food is good for you: bumblebees use taste to discriminate between different concentrations of food differing in nutrient content
Highlighted Article: Bumblebee workers are able to discriminate different concentrations of a food mixture and hence nutrients by using their sense of taste, which may enable them to individually regulate food intake.
Diverse dose–response effects of yolk androgens on embryo development and nestling growth in a wild passerine
Summary: Yolk androgens in wild passerines show complex dose–response effects during early development, including both linear and non-linear responses for different traits.
Amphibious hearing in ringed seals (Pusa hispida): underwater audiograms, aerial audiograms and critical ratio measurements
Summary: Psychophysical experiments with trained ringed seals show acute hearing abilities in both air and water, which are comparable to those of other phocid seals and considerably better than previously reported for this species.
Diurnal oscillation of vocal development associated with clustered singing by juvenile songbirds
Summary: The zebra finch modulates its diurnal singing frequency and timing during development, which contributes to vocal diurnal oscillation. These dynamics are intrinsically regulated in social interaction- and auditory input-independent manners.
Recombinant interleukin-1β dilates steelhead trout coronary microvessels: effect of temperature and role of the endothelium, nitric oxide and prostaglandins
Summary: The pro-inflammatory cytokine (r)interleukin-1β dilates isolated coronary microvessels of steelhead trout in a concentration-dependent manner: an effect that is not influenced by incubation at high temperature (20°C) and is partially mediated by prostaglandins.
Snake constriction rapidly induces circulatory arrest in rats
Highlighted Article: Examination of the effect of snake constriction on rat cardiovascular function reveals support for circulatory arrest as the proximate cause of death in constricted prey, in contrast to previous ideas.
Daily temperature extremes play an important role in predicting thermal effects
Summary: Different daily maximum temperatures under fluctuating thermal conditions impact life history traits in a manner that is not predictable from constant-temperature exposure.
Evidence of ectoparasite-induced endocrine disruption in an imperiled giant salamander, the eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis)
Summary: Parasitic leeches may be capable of modifying endocrine physiology of the giant hellbender salamander, one of the most unique and imperiled amphibians in North America.
Visual ecology of directed aerial descent in first-instar nymphs of the stick insect Extatosoma tiaratum
Summary: Gliding stick insect nymphs use vertical contrast edges to locate landing targets and exhibit preference for shaded objects within a certain size range.
New funding schemes for junior faculty staff
In celebration of our 100th anniversary, JEB has launched two new grants to support junior faculty staff working in animal comparative physiology and biomechanics who are within five years of setting up their first lab/research group. Check out our ECR Visiting Fellowships and Research Partnership Kickstart Travel Grants. First deadline for applications is 15 July 2023.
JEB@100: an interview with Monitoring Editor Sanjay Sane
Sanjay Sane tells us about his first experience of publishing with the journal and why he thinks JEB is going to play a key role in our understanding of the current climate crisis and its implications for biodiversity.
The Forest of Biologists
The Forest of Biologists is a biodiversity initiative created by The Company of Biologists, with support from the Woodland Trust. For every Research and Review article published in Journal of Experimental Biology a native tree is planted in a UK forest. In addition to this we are protecting and restoring ancient woodland and are dedicating these trees to our peer reviewers. Visit our virtual forest to learn more.
Celebrating 100 years of discovery
This Special Issue focuses on broad biological questions addressed through the lens of comparative biomechanics. Crosscutting through time, this series of Reviews, Commentaries and Research Articles addresses questions from the vantage points of the history of the field, today’s research, and the future of comparative biomechanics. Read the Editorial by Sheila Patek, Monica Daley and Sanjay Sane.
Centenary Review - Adaptive echolocation behavior
Cynthia F. Moss and colleagues Review the behaviours used by echolocating mammals to track and intercept moving prey, interrogate dynamic sonar scenes, and exploit visual and passive acoustic stimuli.
Crucial DNA at crux of insect wing size evolution
Keity Farfán-Pira and colleagues have revealed that a tiny region of regulatory DNA in the vestigial gene governs whether insect wings are large or small and has played a key role in the evolution of insect wing size.