Cover: Sketch of huddling sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) by Gerhard Körtner. Sugar gliders commonly nest in large thermally mixed family groups of warm normothermic and cold torpid individuals. Nowack and Geiser (pp. 590-596) show that although energy savings are higher in uniformly torpid groups, torpid animals also seem to benefit from normothermic individuals because these maintain the nest temperature closer to the threshold for thermoregulatory heat production during torpor. It appears that mixed groups are observed when environmental conditions are adverse but food is available, whereas under especially challenging conditions, energy savings are maximized by uniform and pronounced expression of torpor.
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Hindlimb muscle fibre size and glycogen stores in bank voles with increased aerobic exercise metabolism
Summary: Bank voles selected for high swim-induced aerobic metabolism over 13 generations show increased hindlimb muscle mass, but the muscle fibre characteristics remain unaffected.
Warm acclimation improves hypoxia tolerance in Fundulus heteroclitus
Highlighted Article: Acclimating fish to warm temperatures causes a decrease in the size of an interlamellar cell mass, increasing gill surface area and improving hypoxia tolerance.
Minimizing the cost of locomotion with inclined trunk predicts crouched leg kinematics of small birds at realistic levels of elastic recoil
Summary: Exploitation of elastic recoil shapes the stance phase's segment movement in small birds; however, reducing the cost of locomotion is only a secondary movement criterion.
Lingual articulation in songbirds
Summary: Songbirds elevate their tongues during song to change the acoustic properties of their vocal tracts.
Silicon-based plant defences, tooth wear and voles
Highlighted Article: Increased abrasiveness in the diet of voles, assessed by DMTA, could be caused by high phytolith concentration of plants in response to intense grazing, and could in turn help provoke vole population crashes.
FRET analysis using sperm-activating peptides tagged with fluorescent proteins reveals that ligand-binding sites exist as clusters
Summary: Fluorescence resonance energy transfer analysis using recombinant sperm-activating peptides tagged with fluorescent proteins reveals that ligand-binding sites form clusters on the sperm plasma membrane.
Metabolite profiling of symbiont and host during thermal stress and bleaching in a model cnidarian–dinoflagellate symbiosis
Summary: Thermally induced modifications to free metabolite pools of amino and non-amino organic acids are characterised in a model system for reef-building corals, in both symbiont and host.
The role of human ankle plantar flexor muscle–tendon interaction and architecture in maximal vertical jumping examined in vivo
Summary: Elastic power delivered from ankle muscle-tendons during jumping in humans is aided by energy storage against body weight and proximal-distal sequencing of limb action, but not variable mechanical advantage, which may explain our modest jumping ability.
Underwater flight by the planktonic sea butterfly
Highlighted Article: The zooplanktonic sea butterfly Limacina helicina ‘flies’ underwater using many of the same fluid dynamic ‘tricks’ that very small insects use to fly in air.
Developmentally arrested Austrofundulus limnaeus embryos have changes in post-translational modifications of histone H3
Summary: Killifish embryos enter into a developmental arrest called diapause II; the chromatin state differs between embryos prior to, during and post-diapause II.
Wavelength discrimination in the hummingbird hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum
Summary: Macroglossum stellatarum is the third flower-visiting insect for which the wavelength discrimination thresholds have been determined. Minima of discrimination were remarkable when compared with the honeybee and a tetrachromatic butterfly.
Temperature experienced during incubation affects antioxidant capacity but not oxidative damage in hatchling red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans)
Summary: The post-hatch redox status of turtles is influenced by incubation temperature but not temperature fluctuations. Exposure to warmer temperatures for longer durations has negative consequences for hatchling antioxidant capacity.
Salt sensitivity of the morphometry of Artemia franciscana during development: a demonstration of 3D critical windows
Summary: A novel 3D critical window construct reveals how morphometry of Artemia is influenced by salinity level and the time of salinity exposure during development.
Zebrafish learn to forage in the dark
Highlighted Article: Zebrafish are capable of foraging in the dark. Experimental manipulation indicates that this ability is acquired by larvae that learn to identify the flow generated by swimming prey.
Friends with benefits: the role of huddling in mixed groups of torpid and normothermic animals
Summary: Torpor bouts are longer and deeper in uniformly torpid groups, but the presence of normothermic gliders keeps the nest temperature closer to the threshold for thermoregulatory heat production during torpor.
Spectral sensitivity, spatial resolution and temporal resolution and their implications for conspecific signalling in cleaner shrimp
Summary: Cleaner shrimp – colourful, finely patterned animals – are probably colour blind and have coarse spatial resolution, and thus cannot resolve their own appearance or that of conspecifics.
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.
Lack of oxygen curtails vision in red-eared sliders
When red-eared sliders sink to the bottom of a frozen pond for winter they reduce many biological systems to minimum life support, but now Michael Ariel and colleagues show that the reptiles temporarily lose their sight due to lack of oxygen but retain hearing.