Making a Meal From a Mouthful of Seawater
Some of the biggest animals swimming in the ocean are filter feeders, including whale sharks, grey whales, and manta rays. How can these large creatures sustain themselves on a mouthful of plankton? For the manta ray, biologist Misty Paig-Tran says the fish has developed a specialized filter that lets it pluck plankton and fish eggs from a mouthful of seawater without getting clogged. (Plus, check out a Munk’s devil ray breaching in this piece of Sci Candy.)
Misty Paig-Tran is an assistant professor of biology at California State University, Fullerton in Fullerton, California.