I wanted to share an image that came across my news feed on Facebook today. The Shark Trust shared a photo of an amazing manta ray in Denpasar, Indonesia that was swimming in tons of plastic trash.
For those who don’t know, manta rays are filter feeders. They swim with their mouths wide open, taking in all the available water around them, and filtering out these microscopic plants and animals that make up plankton. The plants are called phytoplankton and the animals are called zooplankton. Mantas do have teeth, but mantas don’t chew their food. They have what are called gill rakers that filter their food from the water as it passes through their gills. So they swim with their mouths wide open collecting as many teeny tiny plankton as they can to support their massive size!
What do you think happens when all that plastic is in the water with them?
What about when that plastic breaks down to tinier pieces, like the size they would normally filter their food in their gill rakers?
Just some food for thought.
Until our next duecey adventure.