by Tsing Mui on October 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm
A recent study conducted in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia has revealed much about the daily routines of the majestic manta ray, including when they eat, cruise, and get cleaned by other fish. The study focused on Lady Elliot Island, a small land mass in the Reef. Using three years of observations, some by local scuba divers and boat captains, researchers from the University of Queensland charted how ocean conditions influence where manta rays gather and what they do.
Manta rays were found to cluster around the island when wind speeds are lower and when the moon is new or full. They also go to specific locations depending on activity. A number of sites, where they have been seen filtering plankton from the water, are apparently used mainly for foraging. Other sites are reserved for cleaning.
Photo: PLoS ONE