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Science & Technology

Manta Rays Use Unique Filtration Method That Could Be Used To Clean Oceans

Thursday 27/September/2018 - 10:49 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
The sophisticated filtration system of giant manta rays might be the key to ridding the ocean of trash in the future، as the Technical Times said.
In a new study، scientists looked at the marine animal's liquid-solid filtration system which can separate large volumes of particles such as tiny planktons and small fishes from water. The team recreated physical modeling of a manta ray's gill raker to simulate how manta rays separate solid and liquid particles that allow high flow rates and with no clogging.
Giant manta rays، unlike other predators in the sea، do not chase their preys. Instead، they capture huge amounts of water، trapping planktons، as well as small fishes and other crustaceans، into their mouths.
People assumed that manta ray gills function similar to a pasta colander; particles remain inside while the water drains out of its holes. However، Raj Divi، a biology graduate student from Cal State Fullerton، found that that is not the case. The filter of manta rays is a lot more sophisticated than initially imagined.
"Our study results show that manta rays do something really tricky. They create what we have termed a 'ricochet filter' to separate food from water،" explained Misty Paig-Tran، faculty research adviser. "Particles enter into the mouth، then ricochet off the filter surface and back toward the esophagus، while water takes a different path and exits out the gill slits."

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