Cover: The crab Neohelice granulata inhabits intertidal environments where light reflections provide a strong horizontally polarized light field. Like other semi-terrestrial crabs living in flat habitats, Neohelice tends to keep its eyes aligned with the visual horizon. Laboratory-based studies performed in this crab species by Basnak et al. (jeb173369) show maximum contrast sensitivity for objects and background e-vectors aligned with the vertical and horizontal orientations. Thus, maintaining a stable state of the eye likely ensures maximum polarization sensitivity in the animal's natural environment. Photo credit: Verónica Pérez Schuster.
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Of what use is connectomics? A personal perspective on the Drosophila connectome
Summary: Drosophila is steadily yielding the most complete connectome of any advanced nervous system. Connectomes help us to identify common synaptic circuits in different species and thus reveal the evolutionary progression in candidate pathways.
Scaling of avian bipedal locomotion reveals independent effects of body mass and leg posture on gait
Summary: We review how body size and leg morphology influence walking and running gaits across 21 species of birds spanning a >2500× range in mass from painted quail to ostrich.
Passive water collection with the integument: mechanisms and their biomimetic potential
Summary: Skin water collection has evolved in several animal genera, enabling access to differing water sources. Six mechanisms are presented and their innovation potential for technical applications is discussed.
Reduced non-bicarbonate skeletal muscle buffering capacity in mice with the mini-muscle phenotype
Summary: High-runner mice expressing the mini-muscle phenotype have reduced skeletal muscle buffering capacity; female mice have a lower buffering capacity than males and wheel access has no significant effect.
IGF-1 induces SOCS-2 but not SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 transcription in juvenile Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)
Summary: There is a positive simultaneous expression of IGF-1 and SOCS-2 in juvenile Nile tilapia under different nutritional statuses and stimulants. Furthermore, direct evidence confirms that IGF-1 can induce SOCS-2 transcription.
Sensitive high-frequency hearing in earless and partially eared harlequin frogs (Atelopus)
Summary: Through unknown mechanisms, Harlequin frogs have sensitive high-frequency hearing without the aid of a tympanic middle ear, which most tetrapods use to sense high-frequency airborne sound.
Polarized object detection in crabs: a two-channel system
Summary: In line with theoretical models, experimental evidence indicates that a semi-terrestrial crab uses a two-channel polarization system to achieve object-based polarization vision, maximizing sensitivity in its natural environment.
Acid–base regulation in the air-breathing swamp eel (Monopterus albus) at different temperatures
Summary: The air-breathing fish Monopterus albus reduces blood and tissue pH by increasing PCO2 with elevated temperature, similar to tetrapods.
Combined use of two supervised learning algorithms to model sea turtle behaviours from tri-axial acceleration data
Summary: The development of 3D accelerometers allows us to acquire new information about sea turtle behaviour; validation of the sensor signal for turtle behaviours is important in helping conservation efforts.
Visual approach computation in feeding hoverflies
Highlighted Article: Reconstruction of the take-off and flight of feeding female hoverflies when approached by other insects, and quantification of visual parameters, reveals how freely behaving hoverflies perform escape responses from competitors and predators in the wild.
Gestational low-protein intake enhances whole-kidney miR-192 and miR-200 family expression and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in rat adult male offspring
Summary: Hypertension and proteinuria development following maternal protein restriction in rats are linked to changes in the epithelial to mesenchymal transition and kidney structure in these low-protein offspring but the precise role of miRNAs in this is not clear.
Multiple spectral channels in branchiopods. II. Role in light-dependent behavior and natural light environments
Summary: Branchiopod crustaceans use multiple spectral photoreceptor classes in their compound eyes for depth selection behavior in spectrally variable, dim light environments, suggesting simple visual neuroanatomy is used for luminance vision.
Multiple spectral channels in branchiopods. I. Vision in dim light and neural correlates
Summary: Branchiopod crustaceans have simplified neuroanatomy in comparison to other pancrustaceans for processing color vision, yet they maintain four opsin-based spectral classes in their compound eyes.
The effect of rearing environment on memory formation
Summary: Two lab-bred strains of Lymnaea stagnalis, derived from the same original population, demonstrate a difference in memory-forming ability, possibly due to environmental factors.
Cues for cavity nesters: investigating relevant zeitgebers for emerging leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata
Summary: The sensitivity of Megachile rotundata to temperature suggests they evolved a temperature-mediated clock controlling emergence. Day length may be a weaker cue, where approximately 20% of light penetrates the brood cell.
Thermosensory perception regulates speed of movement in response to temperature changes in Drosophila melanogaster
Highlighted Article: Although flies modulate speed in response to temperature following the same dynamic as metabolic reactions, this response is controlled by the nervous system and not by a direct thermal influence on metabolism.
Kinematics of burrowing by peristalsis in granular sands
Summary: Peristalsis by Thoracophelia mucronata involves body expansions that apply normal forces to burrow walls in beach sands, similar to burrowers in muds; differences explain unusual morphological features of these worms.
Expression of calcium channel transcripts in the zebrafish heart: dominance of T-type channels
Summary: Zebrafish heart expresses a diversity of Ca2+ channel genes dominated by the T-type (Cav3.1) subfamily; the associated current (ICaT) is likely to play a significant role in excitation–contraction coupling.
Biochemical bases of growth variation during development: a study of protein turnover in pedigreed families of bivalve larvae (Crassostrea gigas)
Editors' Choice: Biochemical mechanisms of body size variation studied using crosses of pedigreed lines reveal the energy trade-offs between faster larval growth and the need for ATP allocation to protein synthesis.
Nest predation risk modifies nestlings’ immune function depending on the level of threat
Highlighted Article: High levels of perceived nest predation risk provoked an enhancement in the immune system of blackbird nestlings. Body condition and parasitic load mediated the effect of predation risk on the cellular immunity component.
Behavioral and physiological adaptations to high-flow velocities in chubs (Gila spp.) native to Southwestern USA
Summary: Specialized morphology and behavioral modifications during locomotion of Southwestern USA chubs allow them to station hold at high speeds for long periods of time, which may help them survive flooding events in the Colorado River.
Correction: Sex reversal induces size and performance differences among females of the African pygmy mouse, Mus minutoides (doi: 10.1242/jeb.157552)
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.