Life savers

Horrific shark bite wounds appear on 75% of all the reef mantas on Tofu Reef. Some of the bites seen on these big mantas come from sharks probably over 4m in length. Quite why they are the victims of such frequent attacks by sharks is a mystery; this reef seems to be the only place in the world where they are hunted on such a scale. The reefs are also a hotbed of activity as animals of all shapes and sizes come here to be picked clean of parasites. The injured mantas are frequent visitors, queuing up for the attention of tiny butterfly fish. Biologist Andrea Marshall has found that they specialise in bite wounds, removing dead tissues and preventing infection. And these aren't the only specialists. Sergeant major damselfish concentrate on the mouths of their customors and cleaner wrasse go right to the back of the throat to pick the gills clean.

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3 minutes


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

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