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.
Repeatability of metabolic rate is lower for animals living under field versus laboratory conditions
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.
Increased muscular volume and cuticular specialisations enhance jump velocity in solitarious compared with gregarious desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria
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.
Sex-specific nutrient use and preferential allocation of resources to a sexually selected trait in Hyalella amphipods
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.
Water deprivation increases maternal corticosterone levels and enhances offspring growth in the snake Vipera aspis
Summary: Water deprivation induces an increase in baseline corticosterone level in pregnant aspic vipers, which may subsequently influence offspring growth.
The importance of thermal history: costs and benefits of heat exposure in a tropical, rocky shore oyster
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.
Measuring abnormal movements in free-swimming fish with accelerometers: implications for quantifying tag and parasite load
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.
Reconfiguration of the immune system network during food limitation in the caterpillar Manduca sexta
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.
Evidence for a plasma-accessible carbonic anhydrase in the lumen of salmon heart that may enhance oxygen delivery to the myocardium
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.
Winter metabolic depression does not change arterial baroreflex control of heart rate in the tegu lizard Salvator merianae
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.
Glucose metabolism ontogenesis in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the light of the recently sequenced genome: new tools for intermediary metabolism programming
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.