Cover: Fan worms, such as Acromegalomma vesiculosum from Cornwall, UK, are marine polychaetes that live in protective tubes and project feathery tentacles up into the water column to filter feed. Because these valuable appendages are vulnerable to predation, the fan worms have evolved unique compound eyes on the tentacles that detect looming threats and initiate a startle withdrawal response. Bok et al. (jeb212779) present the first electroretinographic investigations of these eyes, describing their dynamic range, spectral sensitivity and temporal resolution. They consider the implications of these properties for governing a startle response in dynamic, coastal marine habitats. Photo credit: Michael J. Bok.
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Mixing it up: the biological significance of hybrid skeletal muscle fibers
Summary: Hybrid muscle fibers co-expressing multiple myosin heavy chain isoforms are common components of skeletal muscles. This Review examines the prevalence of these fibers and the conditions under which they occur.
Nitrite-induced reductions in heat tolerance are independent of aerobic scope in a freshwater teleost
Summary: Nitrite is a pervasive pollutant in aquatic habitats, which affects both heat tolerance and aerobic scope in juvenile European carp (Cyprinus carpio).
XROMM kinematics of ventilation in wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo)
Summary: XROMM analysis shows that the ribs in birds move in a constrained, predictable way during breathing, which is important for modelling the evolution of avian ventilation and respiratory physiology.
Configural learning in freshly collected, smart, wild Lymnaea
Summary: Paired predator effluent and food odour exposure reveal that freshly collected, smart snails that experience a crayfish predator on an everyday basis are also capable of configural learning.
METHODS & TECHNIQUES
Tunnel-tube and Fourier methods for measuring three-dimensional medium reaction force in burrowing animals
Summary: The digging forces generated by pocket gophers were successfully measured using a new ‘tunnel-tube’ apparatus and Fourier transforms.
A low-cost, open-source inertial movement GPS logger for eco-physiology applications
Summary: Description of the Tapered Wings Logger (TWLogger), a new, low-cost, open-source, archival bio-logger that records high-resolution (e.g. 50 Hz) tri-axial accelerometry and magnetometry, temperature and GPS.
Controlling and measuring dynamic odorant stimuli in the laboratory
Summary: The difficulty of controlling odorant signals in the laboratory hinders efforts to probe how animals encode and respond to odors. Here, we present methods to deliver dynamic, reproducible odorants precisely.
Experimental evidence that physical activity affects the multivariate associations among muscle attachments (entheses)
Summary: This study presents an experimental validation of a recently developed method of reconstructing physical activity based on multivariate analyses of muscle attachments on bone surfaces.
Habitual foot strike pattern does not affect simulated triceps surae muscle metabolic energy consumption during running
Summary: Simulated triceps surae muscle or whole-body metabolic energy consumption is not different between midfoot/forefoot and rearfoot strikers.
Photoresponses in the radiolar eyes of the fan worm Acromegalomma vesiculosum
Summary: Light responses from the unusual eyes on fan worm feeding tentacles reveal a high temporal resolution, broad dynamic range, and spectral tuning to blue-green light, making the eyes well suited for governing a startle response.
Temporal integration of conflicting directional cues in sound localization
Summary: In grasshoppers, the localization of sounds with ambiguous or conflicting directional cues depends on the magnitude and temporal position of each cue. This gives insight into general principles of directional hearing.
Load carrying with flexible bamboo poles: optimization of a coupled oscillator system
Highlighted Article: An optimization model predicts body–load interactions that compare to experienced rural Vietnamese farmworkers carrying substantial loads suspended on flexible bamboo poles. A work-minimizing strategy indicates energy-saving gait adaptations.
Effects of environmental enrichment on forebrain neural plasticity and survival success of stocked Atlantic salmon
Summary: Structural enrichment increases the survival success of hatchery salmon in the wild.
Communication versus waterproofing: the physics of insect cuticular hydrocarbons
Summary: Cuticular hydrocarbons protect insects from desiccation and allow chemical communication, and contain both liquid and solid parts. This complex phase behaviour appears vital to ensure biological functioning.
Clutter negotiating ability in an ensemble of forest interior bats is driven by body mass
Summary: Rasch models of performance in obstacle courses show that the ability of forest-dwelling bats to fly through vegetatively cluttered habitats is best predicted by wing loading and body mass.
Signal-specific amplitude adjustment to noise in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
Editors' Choice: Common bottlenose dolphins increase whistle amplitude as ambient noise increases, but not enough to maintain the same effective range in increasing noise and with a smaller degree of compensation for individually distinctive signature whistles compared with non-signature whistles.
A critical role for Dop1-mediated dopaminergic signaling in the plasticity of behavioral and neuronal responses to sex pheromone in a moth
Summary: Dopamine exerts its modulatory actions on the olfactory system through the Dop1 receptor and thus acts as a mediator of behavioral plasticity in insects.
Complementary effect of attachment devices in stick insects (Phasmatodea)
Summary: Quantitative data on the usage of various attachment devices obtained from whole-animal experiments indicate complementary functionality of different tarsal and pretarsal structures in stick insects.
Nasal airflow in the pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) based on a combined histological, computed tomographic and computational fluid dynamics methodology
Summary: Micro-computed tomography slices and histology sections of an adult loris co-registered for simulation of nasal airflow reveal that olfactory and respiratory airflow are segregated, but some olfactory areas may be reduced as a result of the enlarged, convergent eyes in this primate.
Thermal stress causes DNA damage and mortality in a tropical insect
Highlighted Article: Experiments in a tropical cockroach, Gromphadorinha coquereliana, show that cold stress does not cause lethal DNA damage, in comparison to freeze stress. Thus this species can be classified as moderately freezing tolerant.
An amino-acid mixture can be both rewarding and punishing to larval Drosophila melanogaster
Summary: A 20-amino-acid mixture can be both rewarding and punishing, suggesting that oppositely valenced parallel memories for it could be established in maggots.
New funding schemes for junior faculty staff
In celebration of our 100th anniversary, JEB has launched two new grants to support junior faculty staff working in animal comparative physiology and biomechanics who are within five years of setting up their first lab/research group. Check out our ECR Visiting Fellowships and Research Partnership Kickstart Travel Grants. First deadline for applications is 15 July 2023.
JEB@100: an interview with Monitoring Editor Sanjay Sane
Sanjay Sane tells us about his first experience of publishing with the journal and why he thinks JEB is going to play a key role in our understanding of the current climate crisis and its implications for biodiversity.
The Forest of Biologists
The Forest of Biologists is a biodiversity initiative created by The Company of Biologists, with support from the Woodland Trust. For every Research and Review article published in Journal of Experimental Biology a native tree is planted in a UK forest. In addition to this we are protecting and restoring ancient woodland and are dedicating these trees to our peer reviewers. Visit our virtual forest to learn more.
Celebrating 100 years of discovery
This Special Issue focuses on broad biological questions addressed through the lens of comparative biomechanics. Crosscutting through time, this series of Reviews, Commentaries and Research Articles addresses questions from the vantage points of the history of the field, today’s research, and the future of comparative biomechanics. Read the Editorial by Sheila Patek, Monica Daley and Sanjay Sane.
Centenary Review - Adaptive echolocation behavior
Cynthia F. Moss and colleagues Review the behaviours used by echolocating mammals to track and intercept moving prey, interrogate dynamic sonar scenes, and exploit visual and passive acoustic stimuli.
Lack of oxygen curtails vision in red-eared sliders
When red-eared sliders sink to the bottom of a frozen pond for winter they reduce many biological systems to minimum life support, but now Michael Ariel and colleagues show that the reptiles temporarily lose their sight due to lack of oxygen but retain hearing.