Monthly Archives: July 2014

New paper on manta rays using lagoon habitats

Manta ray in the Palmyra lagoons. Photo: Y.Papastamatiou

We have a new paper in Marine Biology (McCauley et al. In Press) where we use a variety of tools to find out how filter feeding manta rays use lagoon habitats at Palmyra atoll. We show that manta rays spend a lot of their time in lagoons, and are getting most of their energy from plankton in these areas. These lagoons may also be nursery habitat for juvenile mantas, as there are fewer large sharks which might make these habitats safer. These results show how important lagoons may be to manta rays, which could have consequences for manta rays in other locations. Lagoons are often heavily used by human populations and suffer from pollution or habitat modification.