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Summary: Social insects are excellent models for studying phenotypic plasticity. We review issues associated with understanding the genetics of plasticity-first evolution and outline an empirical approach to help advance this field.


Highlighted Article: Atlantiid heteropod swimming is unique in that these planktonic snails use a swimming fin and shell as paired wings to execute complex appendage kinematics, including a double clap-and-fling.

Summary: Low water pH limits extracellular pH compensation in a CO2-tolerant fish. This may increase selection for a more robust CO2 defence strategy where intracellular pH is preferentially regulated.

Summary: The association between baseline corticosterone and temperature was steeper in zebra finches living in a high- versus low-foraging-costs environment, which supports the metabolic explanation of glucocorticoid variation.


Highlighted Article: Harbour porpoises are small marine mammals that have high field metabolic rates, and offset increased thermoregulatory costs in winter by building a thick blubber layer during the autumn.

Summary: An operant conditioning paradigm in a multiple-choice maze shows that innate visual preferences can be transiently modulated in Drosophila via optogenetic activation of NPF-expressing neurons.

Summary: An artificial selection experiment using D. melanogaster inbred lines to test for non-genetic inheritance that could be selected revealed a weak response to selection in the inbred and outbred lines, with variability across lines.

Summary: Fish acclimated to constant hypoxia induced metabolic depression, whereas fish acclimated to intermittent hypoxia maintained routine O2 demands, suggesting that distinct physiological mechanisms can be used to cope with different patterns of hypoxia exposure.

Summary: The pulmonary artery sphincter allows sea turtles to manage pulmonary perfusion during diving, but this may become a liability during stress at depth, which may increase inert gas uptake resulting in gas emboli.

Summary: Cranial bone strain data from lizard crania reveal species-specific strain gradients that are not impacted by cranial kinesis or the presence/absence of postorbital and supratemporal bars, but by dietary effects.

Summary: The baleen of right and bowhead whales is longer than the height of the mouth; experiments show it is highly flexible and bends along its length to accommodate mouth closure.

Summary: Empirical data on soaring behaviour of vultures reveal currency trade-offs through the thermal climb.

Summary: Bluegill sunfish accelerate primarily by increasing the total amount of force produced in each tail beat but not by substantially redirecting forces.

Summary: Very low accelerometer sampling frequency can reliably capture detailed behavioural and physiological data in a medium-sized carnivore.

Summary: MicroRNAs promote survival in an anoxic invertebrate through the mediation of Hippo signalling and the master regulator of hypoxia-responsive genes, HIF1.

Summary: Using the largest meta-analysis of spectral sensitivity to date, we examine how shared evolutionary history and certain ecological variables underlie variation in chromacy across ray-finned fishes.

Highlighted Article: Despite previous claims, common guillemot eggs are not self-cleaning. Instead, shell accessory material on guillemot eggs prevents debris from blocking pores, allowing relatively unrestricted gas diffusion across the eggshell.

Summary:Miniopterus fuliginosus adapt their echolocation sounds according to the spectrum pattern of the jamming sounds.

Summary: Although the behavioural sex change in fish can appear rapid, physiological competency for gender transformation is a slower process with expression gated by supermales.

Summary: Rh proteins in the anal papillae of mosquito larvae are involved in regulating acid–base balance.

Summary: High experience levels at one food source delay recruitment to another food source at the same time of day but, nevertheless, promote simultaneous time-memories in honey bee foragers.

Summary: The lateral line may be able to contribute to sound localization in fishes through a combination of directional sensitivity and time of arrival differences at neuromasts.

Summary: Within hours of an immune response in the Siberian hamster, gonadal activity is suppressed, while pituitary function remains, providing evidence for direct immune-to-gonad communication and demonstrating reproductive system–immune system trade-offs.


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