Andrea - Queen of Mantas

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Natural World, 2009-2010 Episode 3 of 14

Duration: 59 minutes

Manta rays are one of the most intelligent creatures in the ocean and, at up to seven metres long, one of the largest. Yet despite their size and curious nature, almost nothing is known about their lives.

Young marine biologist Andrea Marshall has given up everything for a life in Mozambique, diving amongst these beautiful animals. Superb underwater photography reveals new manta ray behaviour including breathtaking footage of their ritual courtship dances.

The film follows Andrea as she studies these endangered animals up close. With the discovery of a giant new species and remarkable insights into mantas' secretive lives, Andrea's findings are already rocking the world of marine biology.

  • Photo: Manta ray at cleaning station

    Photo: Manta ray at cleaning station

    A manta is seen being filmed at a cleaning station, where injured mantas are frequent visitors. Andrea has found that tiny butterfly fish specialise in cleaning shark bite wounds.

  • Photo: Juvenile manta

    Photo: Juvenile manta

    A juvenile manta feeds off the island of Voavah in the Maldives. With a wingspan of up to 7.5 metres, mantas are the largest of all the rays.

  • Photo: Dead mantas

    Photo: Dead mantas

    Dead mantas in a market in Indonesia. Mantas are highly prized in traditional Chinese medicine, their body parts used to treat illnesses from diabetes to the common cold.

  • Photo: Manta group

    Photo: Manta group

    More than a hundred manta rays gather in the Maldives. Groups like this only form during the monsoon when spring tides cause strong currents to draw up nutrients from the depths.

  • Manta ray

    Manta ray

    Despite them being referred to as devilfish, manta rays are gentle giants. Their pectoral 'wings' can span up to nearly 7m.

    Wildlife Finder: watch underwater footage of manta rays
  • Stingrays

    Stingrays

    Stingrays are a family of cartilaginous fish that get their name from the barbed stinger on their tails. They will only use this stinger in self defense.

    Wildlife Finder: watch the first ever footage of the small-eyed stingray

Credits

Narrator
Alisdair Simpson
Producer
Mark Woodward
Director
Mark Woodward
Executive Producer
Sarah Cunliffe
Series Editor
Tim Martin
Participant
Andrea Marshall

Broadcasts

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Available on: Blu-ray

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