METHODS & TECHNIQUES
Summary: Spontaneously beating 3D ‘heart’ structures can be developed in vitro from larval zebrafish using a novel, fast and inexpensive method that could be employed in ecotoxicology and biomedical safety testing.
Summary: Rapid gaze-shifting eye movements called saccades occur primarily during abduction of the pectoral fins, when a large amount of thrust is produced, possibly to stabilize retinal images during thrust-free phases.
Summary: We tested whether and how egg–nest visual contrast contributes to parasitic egg discrimination in American robins. We found no effect of egg–nest contrast on egg rejection rates, and conclude that egg–egg contrasts are the primary drivers of egg rejection in this system.
Summary: A myogenin:GFP transgenic trout line displaying fluorescence in small nascent muscle fibres was generated to trace the hyperplastic growth of myotomal muscle throughout the trout's lifespan and in various physiological contexts.
A meta-analysis of in vivo vertebrate cardiac performance: implications for cardiovascular support in the evolution of endothermy
Highlighted article: This meta-analysis examines cardiovascular data from ectothermic and endothermic vertebrates, at rest and during exercise, with the purpose of identifying key cardiovascular system variables in supporting the high metabolic rates of endotherms.
The activity of isolated neurons and the modulatory state of an isolated nervous system represent a recent behavioural state
Summary: In the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis, the behavioural state can produce long-term changes in individual neurons that persist even after neuron isolation from the nervous system as well as alterations in the neurochemical microenvironment of the central ganglia.
Summary: A Drosophila melanogaster mutant that develops malformed adhesive organs loses the ability to climb vertical smooth surfaces.
Summary: Gaping is proposed to be an important evaporative water loss response aimed at preventing overheating of the head and brain in bearded dragons.
Summary: Brainless slime moulds use simple heuristics (‘rules of thumb’) to decide when to leave a patch; these heuristics differ between species.
Highlighted article: With a short digestive tract and high metabolic demand, the fish-eating myotis faces confounding digestive challenges. It meets these demands with an unusually energetically intense digestive response.
Ways to be different: foraging adaptations that facilitate higher intake rates in a northerly wintering shorebird compared with a low-latitude conspecific
Summary: Intrinsic characteristics of the foraging performance of two subspecies of a digestively constrained shorebird differ in physiological rather than behavioral or sensory aspects.
Distinct physiological strategies are used to cope with constant hypoxia and intermittent hypoxia in killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus)
Summary: The pattern of hypoxia exposure influences the mechanisms of acclimation, and the strategies used to cope with diel cycles of intermittent hypoxia may be distinct from those in constant hypoxia.
Reciprocal osmotic challenges reveal mechanisms of divergence in phenotypic plasticity in the killifish Fundulus heteroclitus
Summary: Transcriptomic and physiological methods implicate mechanisms underlying conserved and evolved changes in phenotypic plasticity in killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) following radiation from marine to freshwater habitats.
Summary: There is a rapid acquisition, exchange and long-term retention of heterotrophic nutrients within the coral–dinoflagellates symbiosis, whereas autotrophic nutrients are rapidly used to meet immediate metabolic needs.
Highlighted article: As the largest water-running animals, western and Clark's grebes use three novel strategies to produce the hydrodynamic forces necessary to stay above the water surface.
Summary: Acid-sensing ion channels in zebrafish gill epithelium are involved in Na+ uptake.
Sex pheromones in mate assessment: analysis of nutrient cost of sex pheromone production by females of the moth Heliothis virescens
Summary: Pheromone biosynthesis uses insignificant quantities of the nutrients available and therefore imposes negligible metabolic cost to the moth Heliothis virescens.
Paracellular pathway remodeling enhances sodium secretion by teleost fish in hypersaline environments
Summary: In fish gills, secretion of NaCl into hypersaline environments requires restructuring of the specialized Na+-permeable paracellular pathway and an increase in conductance of the epithelium.