Cover: Understanding muscle groups during movement in different insect groups could yield insights into evolutionary patterns and functional constraints. David et al. (pp. 1041-1049) developed an inverse dynamic muscle model for dragonfly mandible muscles based on micro-computed tomography and bite force data. Certain mandibular muscles seem to play a minor role in bite force generation, which is a potential reason for their loss in several insect orders. Inverse dynamic muscle modelling will allow for large-scale analyses of muscle configurations and head capsule designs in the megadiverse insects and foster understanding of insect evolution under mechanical constraints. Photo credit: John Hallmén.
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Sticking to the story: outstanding challenges in gecko-inspired adhesives
Summary: High performing gecko-inspired adhesives have been the subject of extensive study for nearly 15 years. We comment on current gaps in understanding the natural system that seem critical to the design of highly functioning synthetic mimics.
Flapping wing aerodynamics: from insects to vertebrates
Summary: By comparing flapping flight across insects and vertebrates, we identify how their morphology and kinematics govern both shared and distinct aerodynamic mechanisms, and highlight open research questions in animal flight.
Low cost of pulmonary ventilation in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) stimulated with doxapram
Summary: The cost of pulmonary ventilation measured in alligators that were pharmacologically stimulated with the respiratory stimulant doxapram reveals that ventilation in alligators is energetically cheap.
Mechanical responses of rat vibrissae to airflow
Summary: The mechanical response of rat vibrissae to airflow contains information about both airflow direction and magnitude, suggesting that the vibrissae may play a role in anemotaxis.
Starvation stress during larval development facilitates an adaptive response in adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)
Highlighted Article: Honey bees may have an anticipatory mechanism during development that is involved in queen–worker differentiation and worker division of labor, both of which are related to the responses to nutritional stress.
Larval starvation improves metabolic response to adult starvation in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)
Highlighted Article: Based on the experience of larval food restriction, honey bees, a eusocial insect species, can preset metabolic phenotypes to adapt to adult starvation.
Proteomic data reveal a physiological basis for costs and benefits associated with thermal acclimation
Summary: By investigating flies maintained at cold, benign and high temperatures, we provide a physiological basis for why ectotherms raised at low and high temperatures are more cold and heat resistant, respectively.
Comparison of the validity of Hill and Huxley muscle–tendon complex models using experimental data obtained from rat m. soleus in situ
Summary: Huxley and Hill muscle–tendon-complex models yield similar predictions of rat soleus muscle force, under physiological contraction conditions.
Phenotypic differences between the sexes in the sexually plastic mangrove rivulus fish (Kryptolebias marmoratus)
Highlighted Article: The sex-changing mangrove rivulus fish (Kryptolebias marmoratus) exhibits significant, sex-specific phenotypic differences, which may promote their transition between sexes.
Stuck in gear: age-related loss of variable gearing in skeletal muscle
Summary: Age-related changes in skeletal muscle support the idea that the interaction between contractile and connective tissues is responsible for variable gearing and is therefore essential to muscle performance.
The effects of multiple obstacles on the locomotor behavior and performance of a terrestrial lizard
Summary: The use of a bipdal posture to navigate a single obstacle is faster, requires fewer strides, and is associated with decreased intermittent locomotion compared with quadrupedal posture.
Elevated osmolytes in rainbow smelt: the effects of urea, glycerol and trimethylamine oxide on muscle contractile properties
Summary: Osmolytes involved in the cold acclimation of rainbow smelt are balanced to allow the smelt to maintain muscle function in winter.
Seasonal and sex differences in responsiveness to adrenocorticotropic hormone contribute to stress response plasticity in red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis)
Summary: The adrenal glucocorticoid response to ACTH varies with season and sex in garter snakes; decreased responsiveness to ACTH partly explains reduced stress sensitivity in males during the spring breeding season.
Broadband noise exposure does not affect hearing sensitivity in big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus)
Highlighted Article: Big brown bats are less susceptible to hearing losses after exposure to intense broadband noise than are terrestrial mammals.
Musculoskeletal modelling of the dragonfly mandible system as an aid to understanding the role of single muscles in an evolutionary context
Summary: A musculoskeletal model of the mandible–muscle complex for dragonflies is developed in order to understand the mechanical and evolutionary significance of single muscles within this system.
Detection of artificial water flows by the lateral line system of a benthic feeding cichlid fish
Summary: The role of the lateral line system in prey detection was investigated in a benthic feeding cichlid by training fish to identify artificial water flows emerging from a sandy substrate.
High variability in stable isotope diet–tissue discrimination factors of two omnivorous freshwater fishes in controlled ex situ conditions
Summary: The diet–tissue stable isotope discrimination factors of omnivorous fishes can vary considerably according to their dietary taxa and this could influence predictions of their trophic position and diet composition.
Smithornis broadbills produce loud wing song by aeroelastic flutter of medial primary wing feathers
Highlighted Article: Smithornis broadbills produce a loud klaxon-like wing song by aeroelastic flutter of wing feathers P6 and P7, and not the outer primaries P9/P10.
Differences in the timing of cardio-respiratory development determine whether marine gastropod embryos survive or die in hypoxia
Summary: The timing of cardio-respiratory development in the marine gastropod Littorina obtusata is crucial for determining whether embryos survive hypoxia; individuals that develop their adult cardiovascular system early survive low oxygen conditions.
The Forest of Biologists
We are excited to announce the launch of The Forest of Biologists, a new biodiversity initiative created with support from the Woodland Trust, aiming to counteract nature loss and safeguard some of the most critically endangered ecosystems for future generations. For every Research Article and Review/Commentary article that is published in JEB (and our sister journals Development, Journal of Cell Science, Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open), a native tree is planted in a forest in the UK.
Celebrating 100 years of discovery
We are proud to be celebrating 100 years of discovery in Journal of Experimental Biology. Visit our centenary webpage to find out more about how we are marking this historic milestone.
Craig Franklin launches our centenary celebrations
Editor-in-Chief Craig Franklin reflects on 100 years of JEB and looks forward to our centenary celebrations, including a supplementary special issue, a new early-career researcher interview series and the launch of our latest funding initiatives.
Looking back on the first issue of JEB
Journal of Experimental Biology launched in 1923 as The British Journal of Experimental Biology. As we celebrate our centenary, we look back at that first issue and the zoologists publishing their work in the new journal.
Biology Communication Workshop: Engaging the world in the excitement of research
We are delighted to be sponsoring a Biology Communication Workshop for early-career researchers as part of JEB’s centenary celebrations. The workshop focuses on how to effectively communicate your science to other researchers and the public and takes place the day before the CSZ annual meeting, on 14 May 2023. Find out more and apply here.
Mexican fruit flies wave for distraction
Dinesh Rao and colleagues have discovered that Mexican fruit flies vanish in a blur in the eyes of predatory spiders when they wave their wings at the arachnids, buying the flies time to make their escape.