Cover: Organisms commonly undergo fluctuating patterns of stability and change, owing to both seasonal and stochastic events, yet how animal physiology responds to environmental changes over the full annual cycle is understudied in animal ecology. DeMoranville et al. (jeb198028) investigated the metabolic flexibility and regulation of energy metabolism across the major life history stages of a migratory songbird. Pictured is a gray catbird at a stopover site during spring migration. Photo credit: Jeremy Cohen.
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The good, the bad and the slimy: experimental studies of hagfish digestive and nutritional physiology
Summary: Hagfish traits such as immersive feeding and extended fasts have stimulated experimental research into their digestive and nutritive physiology, but methodological challenges and key knowledge gaps remain.
Underwater hearing in sea snakes (Hydrophiinae): first evidence of auditory evoked potential thresholds
Summary: The first audiograms of auditory evoked potentials for any aquatic snake show that Stokes’s sea snake, Hydrophis stokesii, can detect low-frequency underwater sounds (40–600 Hz).
PPAR expression, muscle size and metabolic rates across the gray catbird's annual cycle are greatest in preparation for fall migration
Highlighted Article: Characterization of molecular regulation of metabolic flexibility in a migratory bird across its annual cycle provides insight into how animals can respond to annual variation in energetic demands.
Cutaneous sensory feedback from paw pads affects lateral balance control during split-belt locomotion in the cat
Summary: Cats compensate for unilaterally compromised tactile paw sensations by improving lateral balance and by shifting the body toward the anesthetized paws during the stance phase of split-belt locomotion.
Experimental evolution of response to anoxia in Drosophila melanogaster: recovery of locomotion following CO2 or N2 exposure
Highlighted Article: An inadvertent evolutionary selection for rapid recovery from CO2 exposure for nearly 40 years has resulted in fast and consistent locomotor recovery from anoxia in Drosophila melanogaster.
Diel cycling hypoxia enhances hypoxia tolerance in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): evidence of physiological and metabolic plasticity
Summary: Hypoxia tolerance is a plastic trait in fish, and a putatively sensitive species can remodel its physiology and metabolism to effectively cope with diel cycling hypoxia.
Overexpression of PGE2 synthase by in vivo transient expression enhances immunocompetency along with fitness cost in a lepidopteran insect
Summary: Uncontrolled production of an immune mediator, PGE2, leads to fitness costs accompanying reduction in development and reproduction in insects.
Light avoidance by a non-ocular photosensing system in the terrestrial slug Limax valentianus
Highlighted Article: Terrestrial slugs of the genus Limax exhibit negative phototaxis behaviour even if their eyes are removed, possibly by using their brain as a photosensor, which expresses several opsin mRNA species.
What goes up must come down: biomechanical impact analysis of falling locusts
Highlighted Article: Free-falling locusts use several biomechanical mechanisms enabling them to control their body posture at impact. This ability allows them to quickly prepare for the next jump.
Contribution of the Achilles tendon to force potentiation in a stretch–shortening cycle
Summary: Eliminating the Achilles tendon does not affect the stretch–shortening cycle in rat soleus muscle.
Assessment of fatigue-related biochemical alterations in a rat swimming model under hypoxia
Summary: Hypoxia exposure alters the relative contribution of peripheral and central factors to exercise-induced fatigue, and central fatigue may play a predominant role in the decline in exercise performance under hypoxia.
Short-term, but not long-term, increased daytime workload leads to decreased night-time energetics in a free-living song bird
Summary: Birds provisioning offspring can either increase metabolic processes or reduce energy expenditure on maintenance. Here, a song bird is shown to do the latter, but only in the short term.
Transplanting gravid lizards to high elevation alters maternal and embryonic oxygen physiology, but not reproductive success or hatchling phenotype
Summary: Reproducing females and developing embryos of the lizard species Podarcis muralis appear to be resilient, at least in the short term, to reduced oxygen availability at high elevations.
Ventilatory sensitivity to ammonia in the Pacific hagfish (Eptatretus stoutii), a representative of the oldest extant connection to the ancestral vertebrates
Summary: Hagfish exhibit increases in ventilation as a specific response to ammonia, showing that the response arose very early in vertebrate evolution.
Ground reaction forces intersect above the center of mass even when walking down visible and camouflaged curbs
Highlighted Article: In human walking, ground reaction forces are directed to a point above the center of mass to promote whole-body stability. This is also observed in camouflaged curb negotiation.
Reorientation and propulsion in fast-starting zebrafish larvae: an inverse dynamics analysis
Summary: Fish larvae may independently adjust the direction and speed of their fast start escape response, a manoeuvre crucial for survival.
Phenotypic plasticity in the invasive pest Drosophila suzukii: activity rhythms and gene expression in response to temperature
Summary: The thermal phenotypic plasticity of Drosophila suzukii in terms of locomotor activity and expression of clock genes is narrower than that of Drosophila melanogaster.
Zombie ant death grip due to hypercontracted mandibular muscles
Highlighted Article: Using microscopy, we show how the zombie ant fungus (Ophiocordyceps kimflemingiae) alters the mandibular muscle of its host (Camponotus castaneus) during the death grip, a key behavior associated with transmission.
Strain transformation: enhancement of invertebrate memory in a new rearing environment
Summary: A change in rearing environment results in the establishment of a lab-bred Lymnaea stagnalis strain with an enhanced ability to form memory as well as heightened resilience to physiological stressors.
Division of labor in honey bees is associated with transcriptional regulatory plasticity in the brain
Summary: Bioinformatics, RNAi and behavioral assays reveal that plasticity in the regulatory relationships between transcription factors and target genes is associated with social behavior, social context and endocrine state.
Locomotor patterns change over time during walking on an uneven surface
Summary: The movement strategies of unimpaired adults when walking on uneven terrain change over time with longer exposure to the surface.
Sexually dimorphic swim bladder extensions enhance the auditory sensitivity of female plainfin midshipman fish, Porichthys notatus
Highlighted Article: Saccular potential recordings reveal that the rostral horn-like extensions of the swim bladder in female plainfin midshipman enhance auditory sensitivity to sound pressure and higher frequencies.
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.