RICHARD BROOKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD BROOKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Manta ray looping through a dense cloud of plankton. The manta (Manta sp.) is a large pelagic ray, and can reach more than seven metres across. They feed on plankton, and when they find particularly dense swarms, they often feed by performing somersaults, looping over and over again through the same volume of water. This appears to be a learned behavior, as very young animals have been observed attempting but failing to complete the full loop, instead stalling and then recovering in a less than graceful way. Individual mantas can be recognized by the unique pattern of markings on their bellies. This one is known as M114 or "Chuck" and was born in Oct 2013. Filmed in Palau.
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