Idea #363 – Diving on a manta cleaning station
The manta ray, called also a sea devil or huge manta ray (Manta birostris) belongs to the family of Mobulidae. It is is present in waters tropical, subtropical and even moderated by the globe, by oriental Pacific Ocean, including Mexico, up to the pond Indo-Pacifique, always in association with oceanic islands very off coast. This ray is the biggest of the species being able to achieve up to large-scale seven meters for two tons. It owns two big wings, five pairs of branchiales cracks on the face lap, generally white and marked with dark variable spots localized in the bottom of the belly. These last spots contribute to their identification.
The ray has a short tail, as well as a relatively flat head, provided on each side with the mouth of extensions of pectoral fins, facilitating the pipe towards the mouth of the flow of water for the absorption of food. Indeed, the manta ray feeds by filtering the present zooplankton in the sea water. The life expectancy of a manta ray is estimated in at least 50 years. These lines, peaceful but impressive, are engaged in a rite of cleaning regularly, generally on one “cleaning station” or “manta points”, constituted by a zone very displayed to the strong current of the pass of an external cliff. The lines appear then, and follow one another in several tours, to benefit from a collaborative cleaning of wrasses and from some other small fishes, which feed on parasites of the skin.
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