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Life savers

Duration: 02:51

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.

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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