Developmental phenotypic plasticity helps bridge stochastic weather events associated with climate change
Summary: Unpredictable environmental phenomena associated with climate change can be challenging to developing organisms, but developmental phenotypic plasticity may be key to their survival.
METHODS & TECHNIQUES
An eDNA-qPCR assay to detect the presence of the parasite Schistocephalus solidus inside its threespine stickleback host
Summary: A non-lethal approach to detect an internal parasitic worm using environmental DNA extracted from fluids sampled from the fish host’s body cavity.
Flying Drosophila melanogaster maintain arbitrary but stable headings relative to the angle of polarized light
Summary: Relative to celestial cues, fruit flies select unpredictable flight headings and maintain them with gradually increasing fidelity. This may be a general dispersal strategy for animals with no target destination.
Summary: Drosophila melanogaster shows sexual dimorphism in the effect of developmental diet on adult foraging choice, and life-stage dependency of the effects of diet on lifespan.
Rapid adaptive response to a Mediterranean environment reduces phenotypic mismatch in a recent amphibian invader
Highlighted Article: The integration of field and laboratory experiments shows that a recent amphibian invader reduces phenotypic mismatch with the novel environment through physiological and behavioural responses across an unusually short time scale.
Coping with the climate: cuticular hydrocarbon acclimation of ants under constant and fluctuating conditions
Summary: Ants adjust their cuticular hydrocarbon layer to humidity and temperature, thereby maintaining its functionality for waterproofing and communication. Varying and constant temperature regimes had different effects on hydrocarbon composition.
Highlighted Article: Infection with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis causes significant mortality in amphibians not only via electrolyte imbalance, but also through increased water loss that is exacerbated by routine skin sloughing.
Summary: Honeybees can transfer visual information from a classical to an operant context and appetitive visual learning in honeybees is modulated by octopamine and dopamine.
Summary: Using spectrometry, photographic analysis of feather macrostructure and transmission electron microscopy, we detect a previously unappreciated role for macrostructure in explaining individual differences in structural plumage colour.
Summary: Supplementation of either vitamin E or corticosterone in the egg reduces body mass of gull hatchlings; combined administration of the two compounds nullifies their independent effects.
Effects of long-term sucrose overfeeding on rat brown adipose tissue: a structural and immunohistochemical study
Summary: Three weeks of sucrose overfeeding affects histological organisation, UCP1 and noradrenaline immunoexpression, and stereological characteristics of rat brown adipose tissue in a way that is suggestive of thermogenic activation.
Summary: The first auditory data for a population of healthy wild odontocetes shows that belugas have sensitive hearing with limited hearing loss and thresholds that approach quiet ambient noise conditions.
Effect of water temperature on diel feeding, locomotion behaviour and digestive physiology in the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus
Summary: Diel feeding and locomotion behaviours in sea cucumber are not controlled by water temperature in the short term.
Heat- and humidity-induced plastic changes in body lipids and starvation resistance in the tropical fly Zaprionus indianus during wet and dry seasons
Summary: In adult Zaprionus indianus in wet or dry seasons, different heat or humidity acclimation conditions have resulted in significant changes in the levels of body lipids in order to cope with starvation stress.
Summary: A simple model of jumping mechanics is used to show that domestic dogs use complex anticipatory control to systematically choose jump trajectories close to those that minimise mechanical energy.
Highlighted Article: Human lumbar lordosis helps balance our bipedal trunk but also plays an important role in attenuating shocks transmitted through the spine during high-impact activities such as running.