Cover: Adult male Hawaii Amakihi (Chlorodrepanis virens). Since the introduction of avian malaria to Hawaii, some Amakihi populations have undergone strong selection by the disease and evolved increased resilience, while other populations remain susceptible. Glucocorticoids can lead to changes that promote survival during environmental perturbations, but they can also suppress immunity. Names et al. (jeb242951) investigated how experimentally elevated corticosterone affects the ability of resilient and susceptible male Amakihi to cope with malaria. The results suggest that elevated corticosterone may reduce the ability of Amakihi to cope with malaria via its effects on hematocrit and malaria parasitemia. Photo credit: Gabrielle Names.
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Physiological responses of freshwater insects to salinity: molecular-, cellular- and organ-level studies
Summary: This Review considers the effect of salt-contaminated freshwater on the osmoregulatory physiology of freshwater insects across the organizational hierarchy from the molecular to organ levels.
Functional loss of ketogenesis in odontocete cetaceans
Summary: Odontocete cetaceans lack the genetic and biochemical ability to perform ketogenesis.
Single target acuity in the common sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus)
Summary: Contrast between small targets, such as prey or body markings, and the background control the ability of the common sunfish to distinguish these features or targets.
Prolactin mediates behavioural rejection responses to avian brood parasitism
Highlighted Article: Decreasing prolactin levels facilitates rejection responses towards brood parasitic eggs in Eurasian blackbirds.
Laser ablation of the apical sensory organ of Hydroides elegans (Polychaeta) does not inhibit detection of metamorphic cues
Summary: Larvae of the polychaete Hydroides elegans retain the capacity to sense biofilm cues and metamorphose despite removal of their apical sensory organs, the supposed sensors for settlement cues.
Lens and cornea limit UV vision of birds – a phylogenetic perspective
Summary: UV sensitivity in bird eyes is determined by the transmittances of the cornea and lens. Pigmentation could explain some of the variation. Phylogenetically related birds are likely to have similar transmittance.
Acoustic deterrents influence foraging activity, flight and echolocation behaviour of free-flying bats
Highlighted Article: Using novel flight path tracking and acoustic methods, we show that bats alter their activity, foraging and echolocation behaviour in response to an acoustic deterrent.
Bone conduction pathways confer directional cues to salamanders
Summary: Bone conduction hearing enables salamanders to extract directional cues from airborne sound pressure in the absence of an impedance-matching tympanic middle ear.
Flight altitude dynamics of migrating European nightjars across regions and seasons
Highlighted Article: Migrating nightjars show vertical displacements at low rates throughout migratory flights, indicating regular adjustments of flight altitude while maintaining flapping flight.
Body temperature is a repeatable trait in a free-ranging passerine bird
Summary: Variation in body temperature of tree swallows suggests some individuals may be better at coping with climate-related heat stress.
Formic acid modulates latency and accuracy of nestmate recognition in carpenter ants
Summary: Exposure to an alarm pheromone increases both speed and accuracy of the response to recognition cues in ants.
Myogenic contraction of a somatic muscle powers rhythmic flow of hemolymph through Drosophila antennae and generates brain pulsations
Summary: The circulation of hemolymph in the antenna of Drosophila is powered by the rhythmic contraction of an auto-active somatic muscle which runs through the brain.
The role of California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) hindflippers as aquatic control surfaces for maneuverability
Summary: Analysis of the biomechanic function of sea lion hindflippers as aquatic control surfaces during underwater maneuvering: the structure of the hindflippers indicates they operate as biological delta-wings.
Is maternal thyroid hormone deposition subject to a trade-off between self and egg because of iodine? An experimental study in rock pigeon
Summary: Restricted dietary iodine in captive rock pigeons reduces egg production in some females, thus inducing a trade-off between offspring quality and offspring quantity.
Dynamic movements facilitate extreme gap crossing in flying snakes
Summary: Flying snakes use a take-off behavior associated with gliding to cross horizontal gaps, avoiding a torque limitation associated with other crossing behaviors and substantially increasing their gap-bridging performance.
Stress in paradise: effects of elevated corticosterone on immunity and avian malaria resilience in a Hawaiian passerine
Summary: Amakihi innate immunity, as measured by natural antibodies and leukocytes, is not sensitive to changes in corticosterone, but high circulating corticosterone may reduce the ability of Amakihi to cope with avian malaria infection via its effects on hematocrit and malaria parasite load.
Wetting of the tarsal adhesive fluid determines underwater adhesion in ladybird beetles
Summary: Fluid-mediated adhesion seen in animals such as ladybird beetles allows them to attach to surfaces not just in air but also in underwater conditions.
Ocellar spatial vision in Myrmecia ants
Summary: Electrophysiological techniques reveal that spatial visual properties of simple eyes improve with input from compound eyes in bull ants.
Time-varying motor control strategy for proximal-to-distal sequential energy distribution: insights from baseball pitching
Summary: The motor control strategy of the proximal-to-distal sequential motion during baseball pitching involves the muscular and interactive torque effects contributing to the energy generation and transfer mechanisms.
Correction: Batoid locomotion: effects of speed on pectoral fin deformation in the little skate, Leucoraja erinacea
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.