Cover: A walking specimen of the onychophoran velvet worm Euperipatoides rowelli. In this issue, Beckmann et al. (pp. 915–922) analyse the spectral sensitivity, phototactic behaviour and opsin expression in this ‘living fossil’. The curves in the background are electroretinograms from the simple eye of E. rowelli following flashes of white light at different intensities. Photo credit: H. Beckmann and I. S. Oliveira; design: L. Hering.
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Insect navigation: do ants live in the now?
Summary: Ant navigation has traditionally been thought of as an example of how complex behaviour can come from simple mechanisms. We review recent results that show how an ant's navigational mechanisms are more complex than previously thought.
Feeding in billfishes: inferring the role of the rostrum from a biomechanical standpoint
Summary: Biomechanical differences derived from rostrum morphology and composition lead to species-specific feeding behavior in billfishes.
Evolutionary adaptations for the temporal processing of natural sounds by the anuran peripheral auditory system
Summary: Peripheral auditory systems of treefrogs are evolutionarily adapted to process the temporal fluctuations inherent in conspecific communication signals.
Species-specific loss of sexual dimorphism in vocal effectors accompanies vocal simplification in African clawed frogs (Xenopus)
Highlighted article: How do nervous systems change evolutionarily to generate species-specific behaviors? The simplified male courtship songs of a frog, Xenopus borealis, reflect feminization of the larynx and its connection to the brain.
Symbiont type influences trophic plasticity of a model cnidarian–dinoflagellate symbiosis
Summary: Not all cnidarian–dinoflagellate symbioses are equally nutritionally advantageous to the animal as the genetic identity of the symbiont affects the host's feeding capacity.
Body saccades of Drosophila consist of stereotyped banked turns
Summary: Using high-speed 3D videography and a dynamically scaled robotic fly, we studied the biomechanics and aerodynamics of saccadic turns in flying flies. We show that these maneuvers are remarkably stereotypic.
Six degree-of-freedom analysis of hip, knee, ankle and foot provides updated understanding of biomechanical work during human walking
Highlighted article: Six degree-of-freedom (6DOF) analysis of hip–knee–ankle–foot better captures energy changes of the body during gait than conventional 3DOF joint work estimates, revealing increased work contributions from the hip.
Response to a change in the target nest during ant relocation
Summary: Colonies of relocating ants show remarkable flexibility in their ability to reassess and modify their response when their target nest is changed midway through relocation.
How effective are acoustic signals in territorial defence in the Lusitanian toadfish?
Summary: Muting experiments show that fish sounds are efficient territorial ‘keep-out’ signals, similar to bird song.
Making Olympic lizards: the effects of specialised exercise training on performance
Summary: Specialised training in lizards leads to dramatic increases in performance and changes in physiology.
Acoustic models of orangutan hand-assisted alarm calls
Highlighted article: Orangutans modify the calls they make to predators with their hands. The acoustic effect is that their calls then sound as if they were made by a bigger animal.
Spectral sensitivity in Onychophora (velvet worms) revealed by electroretinograms, phototactic behaviour and opsin gene expression
Summary: The simple eyes of velvet worms contain only one visual pigment based on onychopsin that detects blue-green light, which the animals actively avoid.
Sequential exposure to a combination of stressors blocks memory reconsolidation in Lymnaea
Summary: Reconsolidation occurs after a memory has been activated. We show here that a combination of stressors can block this process.
Pregnancy limits lung function during exercise and depresses metabolic rate in the skink Tiliqua nigrolutea
Highlighted article: Pregnancy depresses metabolic rate in blotched blue tongue lizards and limits exercise ability. Despite the developing fetuses compressing the lungs, gas diffusion ability was not altered.
Vocalisations of the bigeye Pempheris adspersa: characteristics, source level and active space
Summary: This paper details the bigeye vocalisation and the potential detection distances of the vocalisation under different noise regimes.
Learning context modulates aversive taste strength in honey bees
Summary: Learning context is a key modulator of taste in the honey bee.
Meet the JEB Editors @ SEB 2023
Come and meet the JEB team at the Society for Experimental Biology centenary conference from 4-7 July in Edinburgh, UK. Visit exhibition stand 13/15 to pick up JEB centenary goodies, including our new ‘100 years of discovery’ T shirt, and join our Meet the JEB Editors event on Thursday 6 July at 12.30 at Platform 5 to find out more about the journal and chat to Editors including EiC Craig Franklin, Monitoring Editors Sanjay Sane, Trish Schulte and John Terblanche and the in-house News and Reviews team.
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 Katie Gilmour
Katie Gilmour tells us how she first encountered the JEB Editorial team as a graduate student at the University of Cambridge, UK, and how she would like to have a Star Trek tricorder to monitor fish non-invasively in the field.
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.
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.