Formation feeding

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.

Release date: 11 Nov 2009

2 minutes

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterAlisdair Simpson
ParticipantAndrea Marshall
DirectorMark Woodward
ProducerMark Woodward
Executive ProducerSarah Cunliffe

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