Blood python (Python brongersmai) strike kinematics and forces are robust to variations in substrate geometry
Highlighted Article: Blood pythons maintain high strike performance on flat surfaces by imparting rearward momentum to the posterior body and tail, using them as an inertial appendage, allowing the snake to apply high fore–aft forces without slipping, and thus exploit variable environments.
Summary: The anchor threads of spider orb webs allow greater movement of the web’s capture area, increasing the amount of absorbed kinetic energy and thus improving prey capture efficacy.
METHODS & TECHNIQUES
Summary: Development of a new method for precise and non-invasive drug delivery to aquatic animals using a palatable gelatin-based feed.
The effect of temperature on haemoglobin–oxygen binding affinity in regionally endothermic and ectothermic sharks
Summary: The blood of common thresher shark and shortfin mako shark exhibits temperature-independent Hb–O2 binding affinity, whereas bigeye thresher shark blood has a high Hb–O2 affinity and a relatively low thermal sensitivity.
Sperm calcium flux and membrane potential hyperpolarization observed in the Mexican big-eared bat Corynorhinus mexicanus
Summary: CatSper activity in bat spermatozoa, as well as events during capacitation, such as hyperactivation and plasma membrane hyperpolarization, correlate with sperm maturation during storage in the epididymis.
Highlighted Article: Long-term winter food deprivation in sardines elicits energy-saving mechanisms, whereas summer food deprivation has disastrous effects, especially on survival and on use of energy reserves.
Summary: The insectivorous echolocating bat Myotis daubentonii can see light levels equivalent to the luminance of terrestrial objects in an open habitat under a moonless clear starlit sky.
Summary: The flight trajectories of pigeons steering through gaps between obstacles are well modelled by the same proportional navigation guidance law as describes the pursuit behaviours of birds and insects.
Summary: Toads may rely on hindlimb sensory information during take-off to tune their forelimb muscle activation in order to land effectively.
From quadrupedal to bipedal walking ‘on the fly’: the mechanics of dynamical mode transition in primates
Highlighted Article: Mechanical analysis of the smooth, continuous transition from a quadrupedal to bipedal locomotor mode in baboons reveals a common strategy: crouch the hind parts and sprint them underneath the rising body centre of mass.
A comparison of odor plume-tracking behavior of walking and flying insects in different turbulent environments
Summary: Walking male cockroaches and flying male moths track pheromone plumes more directly in experimental conditions more characteristic of their natural environments, i.e. low wind speed+low turbulence for walking cockroaches and higher wind speed+higher turbulence for flying moths.
Individual response in body mass and basal metabolism to the risks of predation and starvation in passerines
Summary: Wintering small birds faced with the risk of predation and starvation primarily respond by modulating energy reserves. However, wild great tits can also adjust their energy expenditure adaptively.