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Summary: Chondrichthyan fishes (sharks, rays and chimaeras) are exceedingly rare or possibly absent at abyssal depths (>4000 m), unlike bony fishes. This Commentary discusses hypotheses implicating the unusual physiology of chondrichthyans as an explanation for their scarcity at great depths.


Summary: Locust spreading depression is strongly dependent on existing levels of neural activity. Increased neural activity heightens susceptibility to spreading depression, whereas a reduction in activity is inhibitory.

Summary: Individual metabolic rates are generally repeatable, but repeatability not only declines with time interval between measurements but is also lower for animals living under field versus more stable laboratory conditions.


Highlighted Article: Larger muscles and more elastic cuticular springs allow solitarious locusts to jump 25% faster than gregarious locusts, but they require double the energy and time to operate the spring mechanism.

Summary: Age influences sexual dimorphism in carbon and phosphorus acquisition and assimilation, a pattern potentially driven by the exaggeration of male sexual traits to which resources are preferentially allocated.

Summary: Water deprivation induces an increase in baseline corticosterone level in pregnant aspic vipers, which may subsequently influence offspring growth.

Summary: Fruit flies make collective foraging decisions, the dynamics and magnitude of which vary with group size and composition.

Highlighted Article: The mite Paratarsotomus macropalpis attains the highest relative speed and stride frequency documented for any animal.

Summary: Thermal responses and organismal vulnerability to climate largely depend on the proximate thermal history of individuals as exposure to acute heat events can enhance survival and thermal performance.

Summary: Accelerometer data from rotational movement associated with tag load and irritation in cod indicates a more careful interpretation of data derived from external tags is required.

Summary: Food shortage causes complex changes to the immune system, not a simple decline. Specifically, it induces immune system reconfiguration, leading to increases in some immune functions and decreases in others.

Highlighted Article: Results from research in coho salmon support the presence of an enhanced oxygen delivery system in the salmonid heart, which could help support cardiac function when oxygen supply to this vital organ becomes limiting.

Summary: Winter acclimation is compatible with lower resting heart rate but unchanged baroreflex sensitivity in the lizard Salvator merianae; independent of acclimation, heart rate responds more to hypotension than to hypertension.

Summary: The g6pcb2.a gluconeogenic gene is atypically up-regulated by dietary carbohydrate as soon as first feeding in rainbow trout and thus may contribute to the glucose-intolerant phenotype in early in life.

Summary: Route memories alone can trigger ‘trapping’ of ant colonies in suboptimal exploitation of established but poorer-quality food sources, even when pheromone trails are removed.

Highlighted Article: The first biomechanical model of insect flight on air–water fluid interfaces, in the context of observations on waterlily beetles, uncovers a complex interplay of aerodynamics, biomechanics and capillary forces.


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