Image for Giant mantas

Giant mantas

Duration: 02:30

Giant-sized mantas emerge from the depths of the ocean to visit the Tofu reef for just a few days before disappearing back into the Indian Ocean, rarely to be seen again. It was thought that there was only one manta species, but biologist Andrea Marshall felt that these mantas were quite different. With a wingspan of 7.5m they were not only much larger but their markings were much more pronounced. But she needed proof to identify them as a different species. Mantas evolved from stingrays, and lost their sting over millions of years. Andrea noticed that these giants had an unusual lump at the base of their tail which was found to contain the remains of a stinging spine. This was the proof the scientist had been searching for to announce to the world the discovery of a new species.

Available since: Wed 11 Nov 2009


Alisdair Simpson
Andrea Marshall
Mark Woodward
Mark Woodward
Executive Producer
Sarah Cunliffe

This clip is from

Natural World 2009-2010, Andrea - Queen of Mantas

3/14 Film following marine biologist Andrea Marshall as she studies manta rays up close.

First broadcast: 11 Nov 2009

Image for Andrea - Queen of Mantas Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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