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Summary: High performing gecko-inspired adhesives have been the subject of extensive study for nearly 15 years. We comment on current gaps in understanding the natural system that seem critical to the design of highly functioning synthetic mimics.


Summary: By comparing flapping flight across insects and vertebrates, we identify how their morphology and kinematics govern both shared and distinct aerodynamic mechanisms, and highlight open research questions in animal flight.


Summary: The cost of pulmonary ventilation measured in alligators that were pharmacologically stimulated with the respiratory stimulant doxapram reveals that ventilation in alligators is energetically cheap.


Summary: The mechanical response of rat vibrissae to airflow contains information about both airflow direction and magnitude, suggesting that the vibrissae may play a role in anemotaxis.

Highlighted Article: Honey bees may have an anticipatory mechanism during development that is involved in queen–worker differentiation and worker division of labor, both of which are related to the responses to nutritional stress.

Highlighted Article: Based on the experience of larval food restriction, honey bees, a eusocial insect species, can preset metabolic phenotypes to adapt to adult starvation.

Summary: By investigating flies maintained at cold, benign and high temperatures, we provide a physiological basis for why ectotherms raised at low and high temperatures are more cold and heat resistant, respectively.

Summary: Huxley and Hill muscle–tendon-complex models yield similar predictions of rat soleus muscle force, under physiological contraction conditions.

Highlighted Article: The sex-changing mangrove rivulus fish (Kryptolebias marmoratus) exhibits significant, sex-specific phenotypic differences, which may promote their transition between sexes.

Summary: Age-related changes in skeletal muscle support the idea that the interaction between contractile and connective tissues is responsible for variable gearing and is therefore essential to muscle performance.

Summary: The use of a bipdal posture to navigate a single obstacle is faster, requires fewer strides, and is associated with decreased intermittent locomotion compared with quadrupedal posture.

Summary: Osmolytes involved in the cold acclimation of rainbow smelt are balanced to allow the smelt to maintain muscle function in winter.

Summary: The adrenal glucocorticoid response to ACTH varies with season and sex in garter snakes; decreased responsiveness to ACTH partly explains reduced stress sensitivity in males during the spring breeding season.

Highlighted Article: Big brown bats are less susceptible to hearing losses after exposure to intense broadband noise than are terrestrial mammals.

Summary: A musculoskeletal model of the mandible–muscle complex for dragonflies is developed in order to understand the mechanical and evolutionary significance of single muscles within this system.

Summary: The role of the lateral line system in prey detection was investigated in a benthic feeding cichlid by training fish to identify artificial water flows emerging from a sandy substrate.

Summary: The diet–tissue stable isotope discrimination factors of omnivorous fishes can vary considerably according to their dietary taxa and this could influence predictions of their trophic position and diet composition.

Highlighted Article: Smithornis broadbills produce a loud klaxon-like wing song by aeroelastic flutter of wing feathers P6 and P7, and not the outer primaries P9/P10.

Summary: The timing of cardio-respiratory development in the marine gastropod Littorina obtusata is crucial for determining whether embryos survive hypoxia; individuals that develop their adult cardiovascular system early survive low oxygen conditions.

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