New species of manta ray

Larger, shyer manta ray

The manta ray is the largest species of ray in the world. Off the coast of Mozambique, Andrea Marshall found a previously unknown, related species, she announced in 2008. The new species has not yet been named. It seems to prefer deeper waters and may migrate long distances.

Manta circles researcher

Dr. Marshall made the discovery when she was a PhD candidate. Not too surprisingly, she got her doctorate!

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Marine dynasty

The grandson of Jacques Cousteau, Philippe Cousteau, is on Discovery World HD looking for manta rays in the Indian Ocean. That ocean covers 13% of the world’s surface and has 5,000 species, many of them unique to it.

The marine biologists locate manta rays by finding a cleaning station, where cleaner wrasse and butterfly fish hang about waiting for fish to come to them to have parasites and food particles cleaned away.

About 22% of the coral reefs in the Indian Ocean are under threat. Crown of thorns starfish, which eat coral animals, have multiplied a hundredfold as their predators are fished out.

There is one population of wild dugong left in the Indian Ocean. They are shy herbivorous mammals that have been both hunted and accidentally tangled in nets.

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