Summary: Cetaceans have evolved specialized foraging mechanisms and extremely large body size to exploit unique ecological niches in the ocean.
Summary: The pronounced success of endopterygote insects may be from the worm-like shape of the larvae which enables them to grow fast, reducing the dangers of predation, parasitoids and diseases, thereby increasing offspring survival.
Summary: Although almost all animals sleep, the ecological and evolutionary factors that govern sleep differences throughout the animal kingdom remain unknown. We review sleep literature in non-mammalian models, describing recent advances in zebrafish, C. elegans and Drosophila, as well as emergent genetic model systems.
METHODS & TECHNIQUES
Summary: The occurrence and correction of artifacts in sonomicrometry is commonplace, but correction is painstaking, inconsistent and largely undocumented. The software developed here specifically addresses these issues.
Summary: A new method to reduce the mass of Thermochron iButtons by 71% compared with the smallest previously published miniaturisation.
Context dependency of in-flight responses by Manduca sexta moths to ambient differences in relative humidity
Summary: Manduca sexta hawkmoths orient toward currents of air with higher relative humidity during upwind flight in a wind tunnel, but floral sensory stimuli override this behavior.
Summary: The trigger for skeletal muscle remodeling in the amphibious Kryptolebias marmoratus appears to be oxygen availability, as aquatic hyperoxia and air exposure both result in hypertrophy of oxidative muscle fibers.
Relative position of the atrioventricular canal determines the electrical activation of developing reptile ventricles
Summary: The heart ventricles of squamate reptiles are without a specialized ventricular conduction system, and the manner of electrical activation can therefore be predicted on the basis of morphology.
Summary: Chemotactic behaviours of Caenorhabditis elegans in a population are modulated by pheromones, leading to changes in collective behaviours.
Highlighted Article: Mantis shrimp strike shells repeatedly, sequentially and with predictable behavioral variation that corresponds to shell shape. Physical modeling demonstrates that mantis shrimp use an impact strategy that maximizes shell damage.
Nest box exploration may stimulate breeding physiology and alter mRNA expression in the medial preoptic area of female European starlings
Summary: Environmental resources crucial for breeding may alter breeding physiology and circuits controlling sexual and sexually motivated behaviors to coordinate breeding with resource availability.
Turbulent flow reduces oxygen consumption in the labriform swimming shiner perch, Cymatogaster aggregata
Summary: Fish show significantly different patterns of positioning, kinematics and oxygen consumption in a typical laboratory flume versus a more turbulent, semi-natural flow, which may have implications for behaviour and energetics measured in the lab.
Highlighted Article: Characterization of the anti-predator behavior of two delphinid species using controlled playback of killer whale calls suggests that structural features of the calls convey information about predatory risk.
Summary: Locomotion may generate oscillations in a cetacean's venous system. Instead of using their caval sphincter to protect their heart from associated flow spurts, cetaceans could allow partial collapse of abdominal veins to smooth flow from the inferior vena cava.
Summary: House sparrows possess skin lipids that remain tightly packed to resist cutaneous water loss even at high temperatures. This finding provides evidence that bird skin differs greatly from mammalian skin.
Bluegill sunfish use high power outputs from axial muscles to generate powerful suction-feeding strikes
Summary: Although the sternohyoideus muscle shortens to generate small amounts of power, bluegill sunfish require large regions of axial musculature – operating at or near maximum power output – to power suction feeding.
Changes in free amino acid concentrations and associated gene expression profiles in the abdominal muscle of kuruma shrimp (Marsupenaeus japonicus) acclimated at different salinities
Summary: Kuruma shrimp, Marsupenaeus japonicus, change free amino acid concentrations and associated gene expression levels in their muscle to adjust effectively to different salinities.
Telomere elongation during early development is independent of environmental temperatures in Atlantic salmon
Summary: The authors show that, in salmon, telomeres significantly lengthen between the embryonic and larval stages of development, and that this is not influenced by environmental temperature.
Summary: Anatomical and optical measurements, behavioural experiments and model results show that the onychophoran Euperipatoides rowelli, an animal related to the early ancestors of arthropods, uses low-resolution vision to orient.