Cover: Springtails (Collembola) are ancient hexapods living primarily in the upper layer of the soil. However, some species, like the water springtail (Podura aquatica), live on the surface of calm waters. This is the only springtail species that has been shown behaviourally to be able to detect the polarization of light, which is a typical ability of many aquatic insect species. Egri and Kriska (jeb199760) demonstrate that the positive polarotaxis of P. aquatica functions in the blue spectral range but that longer wavelengths may also mediate important visual information for this species. Photo credit: Imre Potyó.
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Predatory posture and performance in a precocious larval fish targeting evasive copepods
Highlighted Article: Investigation of a highly modified and previously undescribed fast-start of a larval coral-reef fish, which captures evasive copepod prey as early as 1 day after hatching.
METHODS & TECHNIQUES
A new, practicable and economical cage design for experimental studies on small honey bee colonies
Summary: A new, practicable, low-cost cage system for effectively housing small bee colonies to enable investigation of physical conditions, biological factors and environmental contaminants on honey bee responses.
Selection for longer limbs in mice increases bone stiffness and brittleness, but does not alter bending strength
Summary: Fifteen generations of artificial selection for long limb bones in mice substantially increased bone stiffness and brittleness, suggesting bone growth rates can significantly impact bone material properties.
Cranial kinesis in the miniaturised lizard Ablepharus kitaibelii (Squamata: Scincidae)
Summary: Investigation of cranial kinesis in the miniaturised lizard Ablepharus kitaibelii provides the first experimental evidence for mesokinesis in a member of the Scincidae.
Effects of group size on learning and memory in the honey bee Apis mellifera
Summary: Honey bee workers raised in small social groups have higher sucrose responsiveness, worse discrimination performance and lower levels of dopamine than bees raised with more con-specifics.
Fatigue and recovery measured with dynamic properties versus isometric force: effects of exercise intensity
Summary: Novel evidence that isometric and dynamic measures of neuromuscular fatigue following cycling at different intensities are not interchangeable because they do not share the same physiological mechanisms.
Renal acid excretion contributes to acid–base regulation during hypercapnia in air-exposed swamp eel (Monopterus albus)
Summary: The swamp eel – an obligate air-breathing fish from South East Asia – can completely restore extracellular pH within days of exposure to hypercapnia and the kidneys play an important role in this response.
Ammonia-N exposure alters neurohormone levels in the hemolymph and mRNA abundance of neurohormone receptors and associated downstream factors in the gills of Litopenaeus vannamei
Summary: Some neuroendocrine hormones and biogenic amines may regulate the mRNA abundance of ammonia transporter in shrimp gills under ammonia-N stress, and 20 mg l−1 ammonia-N causes severe damage to the hepatopancreas.
Avian surface reconstruction in free flight with application to flight stability analysis of a barn owl and peregrine falcon
Summary: A novel photogrammetry method to reconstruct the surface geometry of flying birds is presented and used to analyse the gliding flight of a barn owl and peregrine falcon.
Water relations of an insular pit viper
Highlighted Article: Cottonmouth snakes residing on islands without a permanent source of fresh water are frequently dehydrated, depend on fresh water from rainfall and express drinking responses different from those of mainland conspecifics.
Dim-light vision in jumping spiders (Araneae, Salticidae): identification of prey and rivals
Summary: Evaluation of the visual identification of rivals and prey by two salticid spider species under progressively lower light levels reveals a visual capacity comparable to that of nocturnal spiders.
Phenotypic plasticity in locomotor performance of a monophyletic group of weevils accords with the ‘warmer is better’ hypothesis
Summary: Among nine weevil populations representing five species from the sub-Antarctic, acclimation responses of locomotion thermal performance curves typically accord with the warmer is better (or thermodynamic effects) hypothesis.
Getting older, getting smarter: ontogeny of foraging behaviour in the tropical social wasp Ropalidia marginata
Highlighted Article: Unlike insects inhabiting less-complex landscapes, paper wasps invest more time in familiarising themselves with the landscape before they begin foraging for food, enabling them to increase foraging gain with reduced effort.
Stiffness gradients facilitate ovipositor bending and spatial probing control in a parasitic wasp
Summary: Stiffness gradients measured along the elements of a parasitic wasp ovipositor elucidate a possible steering mechanism used during probing.
Autonomic cardiac regulation facilitates acute heat tolerance in rainbow trout: in situ and in vivo support
Summary: Autonomic regulation allows rainbow trout to achieve their maximal cardiac and whole-organism thermal tolerance during acute warming to extreme temperatures.
Cost of transport is a repeatable trait but is not determined by mitochondrial efficiency in zebrafish (Danio rerio)
Summary: The metabolic cost of movement is fixed within individuals, but differences between individuals mean that movement affects energy budgets differentially, and fish with a high cost may alter dispersal patterns.
Joint angular excursions during cyclical behaviors differ between tetrapod feeding and locomotor systems
Summary: Comparisons between feeding and locomotor systems reveal how selection deploys similar musculoskeletal components to meet differing performance criteria. Across tetrapods, excursions in limb joints are greater and more evolutionarily labile compared with jaw-joint movements.
How does the water springtail optically locate suitable habitats? Spectral sensitivity of phototaxis and polarotaxis in Podura aquatica
Summary: The hexapod Podura aquatica possesses at least two visual pigments and its polarization sensitivity functions in the shorter, blue spectral range following the tendency of polarotactic aquatic insects.
Severe thermoregulatory deficiencies in mice with a deletion in the titin gene TTN
Summary: Mice with a small deletion in the titin gene TTN exhibit severe thermoregulatory deficiencies and have lower metabolic rates than other size-matched rodents.
Is conservation of center of mass mechanics a priority in human walking? Insights from leg-length asymmetry experiments
Summary: Induced leg-length asymmetry demonstrates that peripheral musculoskeletal structures, represented here by stance-phase joint mechanics, are likely targets of control during human walking as opposed to the center of mass.
Preferred walking speed on rough terrain: is it all about energetics?
Highlighted Article: On rough terrain, humans do not choose their walking speed based solely on metabolic energy minimization.
Respiratory sinus arrhythmia is a major component of heart rate variability in undisturbed, remotely monitored rattlesnakes, Crotalus durissus
Summary: Respiratory sinus arrhythmia constitutes a major component of heart rate variability (HRV) in remotely monitored rattlesnakes. Detection of HRV is posited as a reliable indicator of recovery from trauma in animals.
Meet the JEB Editors @ SEB 2023
Come and meet the JEB team at the Society for Experimental Biology centenary conference from 4-7 July in Edinburgh, UK. Visit exhibition stand 13/15 to pick up JEB centenary goodies, including our new ‘100 years of discovery’ T shirt, and join our Meet the JEB Editors event on Thursday 6 July at 12.30 at Platform 5 to find out more about the journal and chat to Editors including EiC Craig Franklin, Monitoring Editors Sanjay Sane, Trish Schulte and John Terblanche and the in-house News and Reviews team.
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 Katie Gilmour
Katie Gilmour tells us how she first encountered the JEB Editorial team as a graduate student at the University of Cambridge, UK, and how she would like to have a Star Trek tricorder to monitor fish non-invasively in the field.
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.
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.