Cover: The sea urchin Diadema africanum waves its sharp, venomous spines at approaching enemies and can move to avoid bright light, in spite of lacking eyes. Kirwan et al. (jeb176271) show that it uses resolving vision to approach dark objects. The spatial resolution is very coarse and is consistent with a tube-foot receptor based system, as proposed elsewhere. Photo credit: José Carlos Hernández.
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The importance of incorporating natural thermal variation when evaluating physiological performance in wild species
Summary: Physiological responses associated with stable temperatures are distinct from those in thermally variable environments and we need to understand these differences to truly predict how animals will respond to climate change.
Mechanisms underpinning the beneficial effects of fluctuating thermal regimes in insect cold tolerance
Summary: An overview of the critical elements underpinning the benefits of fluctuating thermal regimes in insects.
Haltere removal alters responses to gravity in standing flies
Highlighted Article: Halteres are specialized mechanosensors used to detect body rotations in flying flies. Responses to sudden free falls in standing flies show that halteres can also sense gravity.
Rapid embryonic accretion of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the brain of an altricial bird with an aquatic-based maternal diet
Summary: Red-winged blackbirds deposit docosahexaenoic acid in their brains earlier in development than other altricial birds. This may derive from their habit of feeding in aquatic ecosystems during the breeding season.
Biomechanical factors influencing successful self-righting in the pleurodire turtle Emydura subglobosa
Summary: Success in self-righting freshwater turtles is determined primarily by the velocity of the attempt and the moment exerted by the head during self-righting efforts.
In vivo aerobic metabolism of the rainbow trout gut and the effects of an acute temperature increase and stress event
Summary: In vivo recordings of gut oxygen uptake in a teleost fish demonstrate a high metabolic sensitivity to an acute temperature increase, as well as the metabolic responses to stress.
METHODS & TECHNIQUES
Short-duration respirometry underestimates metabolic rate for discontinuous breathers
Summary: Calculation of the respiratory exchange ratio from rates of both oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide emission avoids underestimation of metabolic rate in discontinuous breathers.
Skin glands of an aquatic salamander vary in size and distribution and release antimicrobial secretions effective against chytrid fungal pathogens
Highlighted Article: Skin glands of Amphiuma tridactylum release secretions effective against the growth of the chytrid fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans and may perform specialized functions related to reproduction.
Effects of chronic exposure to 12‰ saltwater on the endocrine physiology of juvenile American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
Summary: Exposure of juvenile American alligators to 12‰ saltwater significantly elevated androgens, progestogens and estrogens while reducing angiotensin II. Blood biochemistry parameters, diagnostic of impaired liver and kidney function, were elevated.
Innate turning preference of leaf-cutting ants in the absence of external orientation cues
Summary: In the absence of external orientation cues, leaf-cutting ants show an innate turning preference to the left. This bias can cause a looping pattern to enable ants to find their way back to a lost trail or nest site.
Seminal fluid enhances competitiveness of territorial males' sperm in a fish with alternative male reproductive tactics
Summary: Dynamics of ejaculate release may influence the role of seminal fluid in competitive contexts. In the black goby, where interaction between rival ejaculates is reduced, its function differs depending on male mating tactics.
Shifts in space and time: ecological transitions affect the evolution of resting metabolic rates in microteiid lizards
Summary: Metabolism evolved associated with both spatial and temporal components of habitat usage in a radiation of lizards with remarkable ecological diversification.
Effects of flight activity and age on oxidative damage in the honey bee, Apis mellifera
Summary: Honey bee flight induces oxidative damage and reveals a mechanism by which behavior can damage a cell.
The essential oil of Lippia alba and its components affect Drosophila behavior and synaptic physiology
Summary: The Lippia alba essential oil and its components affect behavior in multiple organisms; they block synaptic transmission in Drosophila by reducing presynaptic Ca2+ influx and transmitter release.
Foraging strategy of wasps – optimisation of intake rate or energetic efficiency?
Summary: Wasps responded flexibly to varying reward conditions by maximising intake rate at unlimited flow and switching to the optimisation of foraging efficiency when the intake rate could not be enhanced due to a limited flow rate.
When fed foods with similar palatability, healthy adult dogs and cats choose different macronutrient compositions
Summary: Dogs and cats offered foods with different macronutrient composition, but equivalent palatability, make food choices based on species, age and body composition, and concentrations of circulating metabolites reflect food choices.
Volitional control of social vocalisations and vocal usage learning in bats
Summary: A novel automated training paradigm that reliably elicits social calls from isolated bats and tracks their ability to adjust call features demonstrates vocal plasticity and usage learning in bats.
Kinematic control of male Allen's hummingbird wing trill over a range of flight speeds
Summary: The sexually selected 9 kHz wing trill of male Allen's hummingbirds is substantially louder in maneuvers than in rectilinear flight, and appears to be produced in supination.
Rapid depth perception in hunting archerfish. I. The predictive C-starts use an independent estimate of target height
Editor's Choice: Hunting archerfish use information sampled in less than 100 ms to assess the initial height of ballistically falling prey.
Rapid depth perception in hunting archerfish. II. An analysis of potential cues
Editor's Choice: Archerfish gauge initial height of falling prey in less than 100 ms without access to binocular or accommodation-related cues and with no prior information on prey size and background distance.
New approaches for assessing squid fin motions: coupling proper orthogonal decomposition with volumetric particle tracking velocimetry
Summary: Fin activity changes with swimming speed and orientation in squid, resulting in the production of different vortex wake flows.
Thermal spikes from the urban heat island increase mortality and alter physiology of lizard embryos
Summary: Nest temperatures in the urban landscape increase embryo developmental rate but reduce egg survival in lizards.
Low thermal dependence of the contractile properties of a wing muscle in the bat Carollia perspicillata
Summary: The contractile properties of a bat wing muscle are less thermally dependent than those of other studied animals, which may help maintain muscle function during flight in thermally variable environments.
Contribution of a natural polymorphism in protein kinase G modulates electroconvulsive seizure recovery in Drosophila melanogaster
Summary: Time to recovery from an electroconvulsive shock can be modulated by levels of protein kinase G expression in Drosophila melanogaster.
Visual field shape and foraging ecology in diurnal raptors
Highlighted Article: Raptors from Accipitriformes family differ in the shape of their binocular field according to their foraging tactics.
Length of stimulus presentation and visual angle are critical for efficient visual PER conditioning in the restrained honey bee, Apis mellifera
Summary: Visual PER conditioning in bees is difficult and less reliable than olfactory learning; stimulus length and visual angle limit the learning performance of bees during PER conditioning.
First demonstration of olfactory learning and long-term memory in honey bee queens
Summary: These data show that honey bee queens have excellent olfactory learning and long-term memory.
Can physiological engineering/programming increase multi-generational thermal tolerance to extreme temperature events?
Summary: Heat hardening may be augmented by physiological regulators within and across generations, with variable effects on thermal tolerance.
Effects of hypoxia on swimming and sensing in a weakly electric fish
Summary: Chronic hypoxia exposure in a weakly electric fish increases aspects of aerobic performance and mitigates potentially limiting effects of hypoxia on swimming and signalling at aerobically demanding swim speeds.
Can honey bees discriminate between floral-fragrance isomers?
Summary: Discrimination of floral-fragrance isomers by bees is difficult, even under learning protocols that enhance discrimination; thus, isomers may not necessarily enhance plant odor diversity for pollinators.
The sea urchin Diadema africanum uses low resolution vision to find shelter and deter enemies
Summary: Using a combination of imaging and behavioural experiments, testing visual detection via two photic behaviours, the authors show that the sea urchin Diadema africanum has low resolution vision.
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.