The manta ray's diet consists mainly of the small plants and animals that make up plankton. They also eat shrimp, crab and small fish that are swept up in the process of filter feeding.
Manta rays hunt using both sight and smell. Once prey is located, the manta rays herd their food by swimming around a group of plankton in tightening circles until there is a concentrated mass of the organisms. Then the manta ray tightens its cephalic fins around its mouth to form a funnel and swims, open-mouthed, in a straight line through the mass. Spongy plates along the animal's gills collect the food, and the filtered water passes through the gills back into the ocean. The food is then pushed into the manta ray's stomach.
The largest manta rays grow in excess of 20 feet wide, weigh over 2,900 pounds, and consume up to 60 pounds of food per day. They primarily hunt at night, but hunt both day and night if food is scarce. Manta rays are attracted to coral reefs and areas where sea animals gather to have parasites removed by cleaner fish and shrimp. The manta rays remember these areas and return frequently to hunt.Learn More
Seashells are exoskeletons of marine invertebrates such as mollusks and sea snails, and they grow from the inside out or by depositing new material at the edges, according to Scientific American. Two common types of seashells are bivalves and gastropod shells. The former are made by mollusks such as oysters and clams. The latter are exoskeletons of marine snails.Full Answer >
A shrimp's heart is located in its head. There are around 2,000 species of shrimp in the world.Full Answer >
Catfish have a wide variety of predators, including snakes, raccoons, mink, otters, wading birds, alligators, crocodiles, large lizards, humans and other fish. As with most species, catfish have more predators when they are young than when they reach maturity. Some old, large catfish may effectively outgrow all of their predators except humans.Full Answer >
Leopard seals, as the only species of seal to prey on warm-blooded animals, eat penguins and smaller seals in addition to a more conventional diet of fish and squid. Leopard seals grow to nearly 12 feet in length and can weigh over 800 pounds.Full Answer >