Image for Formation feeding

Formation feeding

Duration: 01:31

With the plankton higher up in the water column, great trains of mantas gather just below the waves to feed. They've learned exactly when and where to be for the most efficient feeding. They maximise their catch by lining up in a staggered formation moving up and down the lagoon to scoop up huge quantities of plankton. As the animal plankton sense the pressure waves from the approaching mantas, they try to escape, but the manta formation leaves the plankton with few places to go. Scooped into the mantas' mouths the plankton is sieved from the water with finger like structures called gill rakers. It's thought that mantas can harvest more than 17kg of plankton a day.

Available since: Wed 11 Nov 2009

Credits

Presenter
Alisdair Simpson
Participant
Andrea Marshall
Director
Mark Woodward
Producer
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

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss