Manta Ray Says 'Ahhh' - Feeding

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Manta rays are the largest rays in the world! From wingtip to wingtip, mantas can grow to be seven meters across, which is about the same as 3 1/2 bedroom doors stacked end to end. That's a very big fish!

Judging by their huge size and enormous mouths, you might guess that mantas would choose to eat large sea creatures-- but mantas eat almost nothing but different types of itty bitty plankton. Swooping in slow circles, mantas will filter their food by drawing water into their huge gaping mouths and pushing it out over their gills, straining the plankton on their gill rakers. Gill rakers act like colanders or strainers do when we make pasta or wash vegetables-- the water runs freely through, but all of that tasty food is caught for us to munch on!

Those of you with really sharp eyes may have noticed a small fish clinging to the manta's body as it feeds. That's a remora, and although it may be enjoying the loop-de-looping ride, what the remora is really hoping is that some of that plankton will slip from the manta's mouth to give it an easy dinner.

It might seem strange that such a large animal as a manta ray would specialize in eating something as tiny as plankton, but there are lots of large animals that do this. Baleen whales, like humpbacks and right whales, all use a similar strategy to catch massive amounts of plankton to eat. Another large creature that depends on plankton is the largest fish in the world-- the whale shark!

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Comments

  1. batisseurs
    batisseurs
    4 months ago

    you can literrally see threw his mouth!
  2. elle78
    elle78
    1 year, 8 months ago

    cool!!!!!!!!
  3. aj2hip
    aj2hip
    1 year, 9 months ago

    huge mouth so cool
  4. #1Warriors Fan!
    #1Warriors Fan!
    1 year, 10 months ago

    it is really cool how you can see the Manta Ray's gills!
  5. tru23
    tru23
    1 year, 10 months ago

    that's so cool!
  6. marioman
    marioman
    1 year, 10 months ago

    was that his stomach
  7. cherie
    cherie
    2 years, 1 month ago

    WOW manta rays are so so cool it is so cool to see the mawth of manta ray!!!A+
  8. Catlover102
    Catlover102
    2 years, 1 month ago

    asome!
  9. tushin
    tushin
    2 years, 4 months ago

    It has gills on the bottom.Cool I read about manta rays.
  10. pinkicing
    pinkicing
    2 years, 7 months ago

    EARTHRANGERS CAME TO MY SHCOOL I TOCHD A MANTA RAY BEFORE CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLL LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL


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