Cover: A walking specimen of the onychophoran velvet worm Euperipatoides rowelli. In this issue, Beckmann et al. (pp. 915–922) analyse the spectral sensitivity, phototactic behaviour and opsin expression in this ‘living fossil’. The curves in the background are electroretinograms from the simple eye of E. rowelli following flashes of white light at different intensities. Photo credit: H. Beckmann and I. S. Oliveira; design: L. Hering.
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Insect navigation: do ants live in the now?
Summary: Ant navigation has traditionally been thought of as an example of how complex behaviour can come from simple mechanisms. We review recent results that show how an ant's navigational mechanisms are more complex than previously thought.
Feeding in billfishes: inferring the role of the rostrum from a biomechanical standpoint
Summary: Biomechanical differences derived from rostrum morphology and composition lead to species-specific feeding behavior in billfishes.
Evolutionary adaptations for the temporal processing of natural sounds by the anuran peripheral auditory system
Summary: Peripheral auditory systems of treefrogs are evolutionarily adapted to process the temporal fluctuations inherent in conspecific communication signals.
Species-specific loss of sexual dimorphism in vocal effectors accompanies vocal simplification in African clawed frogs (Xenopus)
Highlighted article: How do nervous systems change evolutionarily to generate species-specific behaviors? The simplified male courtship songs of a frog, Xenopus borealis, reflect feminization of the larynx and its connection to the brain.
Symbiont type influences trophic plasticity of a model cnidarian–dinoflagellate symbiosis
Summary: Not all cnidarian–dinoflagellate symbioses are equally nutritionally advantageous to the animal as the genetic identity of the symbiont affects the host's feeding capacity.
Body saccades of Drosophila consist of stereotyped banked turns
Summary: Using high-speed 3D videography and a dynamically scaled robotic fly, we studied the biomechanics and aerodynamics of saccadic turns in flying flies. We show that these maneuvers are remarkably stereotypic.
Six degree-of-freedom analysis of hip, knee, ankle and foot provides updated understanding of biomechanical work during human walking
Highlighted article: Six degree-of-freedom (6DOF) analysis of hip–knee–ankle–foot better captures energy changes of the body during gait than conventional 3DOF joint work estimates, revealing increased work contributions from the hip.
Response to a change in the target nest during ant relocation
Summary: Colonies of relocating ants show remarkable flexibility in their ability to reassess and modify their response when their target nest is changed midway through relocation.
How effective are acoustic signals in territorial defence in the Lusitanian toadfish?
Summary: Muting experiments show that fish sounds are efficient territorial ‘keep-out’ signals, similar to bird song.
Making Olympic lizards: the effects of specialised exercise training on performance
Summary: Specialised training in lizards leads to dramatic increases in performance and changes in physiology.
Acoustic models of orangutan hand-assisted alarm calls
Highlighted article: Orangutans modify the calls they make to predators with their hands. The acoustic effect is that their calls then sound as if they were made by a bigger animal.
Spectral sensitivity in Onychophora (velvet worms) revealed by electroretinograms, phototactic behaviour and opsin gene expression
Summary: The simple eyes of velvet worms contain only one visual pigment based on onychopsin that detects blue-green light, which the animals actively avoid.
Sequential exposure to a combination of stressors blocks memory reconsolidation in Lymnaea
Summary: Reconsolidation occurs after a memory has been activated. We show here that a combination of stressors can block this process.
Pregnancy limits lung function during exercise and depresses metabolic rate in the skink Tiliqua nigrolutea
Highlighted article: Pregnancy depresses metabolic rate in blotched blue tongue lizards and limits exercise ability. Despite the developing fetuses compressing the lungs, gas diffusion ability was not altered.
Vocalisations of the bigeye Pempheris adspersa: characteristics, source level and active space
Summary: This paper details the bigeye vocalisation and the potential detection distances of the vocalisation under different noise regimes.
Learning context modulates aversive taste strength in honey bees
Summary: Learning context is a key modulator of taste in the honey bee.
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.