Summary: Viscous capture thread extends an orb spider's phenotype as a highly integrated complex of large proteins and small molecules that function as a self-assembling, highly tuned, environmentally responsive, adhesive biomaterial.
Hormonally mediated effects of artificial light at night on behavior and fitness: linking endocrine mechanisms with function
Summary: We review key findings on how artificial light at night affects major endocrine axes and suggest future studies that might ameliorate negative effects.
Testing the parasite mass burden effect on alteration of host behaviour in the Schistocephalus–stickleback system
Summary: The mechanical effect of the presence of Schistocephalus solidus parasite on behaviour in its host, the threespine stickleback, is tested using phenotypic engineering.
Intestinal α-glycosidase transcriptional responses during development and diet adjustment in altricial birds
Summary: Increased α-glycosidase transcription does not occur as house sparrow and zebra finch nestlings age from hatching to adulthood, but does occur when nestlings of the former species adjust to a higher-starch diet.
METHODS & TECHNIQUES
A miniaturized threshold-triggered acceleration data-logger for recording burst movements of aquatic animals
Summary: Development of a high-frequency acceleration data-logger that can selectively measure animal burst movements, as verified in controlled and in situ conditions with two fish species.
Summary: Two distinct neural coding schemes show how weakly electric fish sensory neurons change response patterns to adapt to context-specific perceptual needs.
Renoguanylin stimulates apical CFTR translocation and decreases HCO3− secretion through PKA activity in the Gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta)
Summary: Renoguanylin stimulation radically alters the physiology of Gulf toadfish enterocytes via protein kinase A, by reversing ion-absorbing mechanisms, inhibiting HCO3− secretion and causing insertion of CFTR into the apical membrane.
Summary: Sleep loss decreases egg output and thus reproductive fitness in female fruit flies, suggesting an important driving force for the evolution of sleep in animals.
Highlighted Article: Male and female sperm-storage organs display different antibacterial activity in ants. This activity varies over time in females after mating, allowing long-term storage of sperm cells free of bacteria.
Enzyme polymorphism, oxygen and injury: a lipidomic analysis of flight-induced oxidative damage in a succinate dehydrogenase d (Sdhd)-polymorphic insect
Summary: Fritillary butterflies flying continuously for 3 min suffer oxidative damage to flight muscle lipids; damage varies with Sdhd genotype, but the effect differs for continuous flight versus intermittent flight in nature.
Avian thermoregulation in the heat: evaporative cooling capacity and thermal tolerance in two Australian parrots
Highlighted Article: Australian parrots from arid environments have a high capacity to utilize evaporative heat dissipation to defend body temperature in hot conditions. Thermal tolerance is similar to that seen in songbirds.
Highlighted Article: Underwater stereovideography detailing the three-dimensional maneuvering performance of the manta ray in its natural environment shows that its turning maneuvers fall within the range of those exhibited by swimmers with rigid bodies.
Vibration-guided mate searching in treehoppers: directional accuracy and sampling strategies in a complex sensory environment
Highlighted Article: Movement decisions of an insect homing in on plant-borne vibrations are influenced by the complex whirling motion of plant stems.
The influence of bat echolocation call duration and timing on auditory encoding of predator distance in noctuoid moths
Summary: Constraints on the activity of auditory receptor cells in moths limits the ability of moth ears to encode information about distance for bats that use short echolocation calls.
Intrinsic curvature in wool fibres is determined by the relative length of orthocortical and paracortical cells
Highlighted Article: Curvature in mammalian hairs is underpinned by the relative difference in length between orthocortical and paracortical cells rather than their proportion or number along each side of the fibre.
Distinct physiological, biochemical and morphometric adjustments in the malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae and A. coluzzii as means to survive dry season conditions in Burkina Faso
Summary: A diverse and complex pattern of physiological mechanisms occurs in the Anopheles gambiae s.l. mosquito species and at the population level to cope with the harsh dry season.
Summary: First insight into a marine chelicerate's ammonia and acid-base regulatory strategies as assessed via changes in mRNA expression levels and physiological responses to elevated ambient ammonia and CO2.
Functional plasticity of the gut and the Malpighian tubules underlies cold acclimation and mitigates cold-induced hyperkalemia in Drosophila melanogaster
Summary: Previous exposure of insects to low temperatures can mitigate cold-induced ion imbalances and improve chill tolerance. Plasticity of ion and fluid transport across the Malpighian tubule and rectal epithelia probably drive this response.
Avian thermoregulation in the heat: phylogenetic variation among avian orders in evaporative cooling capacity and heat tolerance
Summary: Avian evaporative cooling efficiency and heat tolerance display substantial taxonomic variation that are, unexpectedly, not systematically related to the use of panting versus gular flutter processes.
Reduced thermal tolerance during salinity acclimation in brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) can be rescued by prior treatment with cortisol
Summary: Brook trout experience a transient reduction in thermal tolerance during salinity acclimation, and improved osmoregulation after cortisol treatment corresponds with improved thermal tolerance.
Turnover of muscle lipids and response to exercise differ between neutral and polar fractions in a model songbird, the zebra finch
Summary: Estimates of lipid turnover in songbird flight muscle demonstrate the potential for substantial changes to membrane and intramuscular fuel store fatty acid composition on ecologically relevant time scales.
Summary: Drosophila genes required for the biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles (eye pigment granules) also function in the formation of zinc storage granules in the insect's excretory organ, the Malpighian tubules.
Summary: Prior anoxia exposure benefits organismal performance, increases lipid levels and reduces the oxygen debt compared with a singular exposure to anoxia in the Caribbean fruit fly.
Intricate but tight coupling of spiracular activity and abdominal ventilation during locust discontinuous gas exchange cycles
Editors' Choice: Direct monitoring of ventilation/spiracle muscle activity, simultaneously with respirometry, reveals two different ventilation motor patterns that could explain the mechanistic basis of discontinuous gas exchange cycles in locusts.
Reverse genetics demonstrate the role of mucosal C-type lectins in food particle selection in the oyster Crassostrea virginica
Summary: Carbohydrate–protein interactions enable efficient food particle sorting in bivalves, establishing a new dimension for the role of evolutionarily conserved mannose/glucose-binding proteins in the metazoan.