The giant manta ray, Manta birostris, is a common visitor to Thailand. These were filmed at Koh Bon, Hin Daeng and Richelieu Rock.
Manta rays are pelagic elasmobranchs, closely related to sharks. There are now known to be at least 2 distinct species of manta ray. This video features the largest species, the giant manta ray, Manta birostris, which is thought to travel great distances underwater.
The first giant manta ray has 2 common remoras attached to it's head. The manta at Richelieu Rock has many smaller remoras (live sharksuckers), Echeneis naucrates, accompanying it. The remoras attach themselves to the manta ray and other large marine animals using their dorsal fin, which has evolved into a sucker. The remoras get a free ride, and they feed on the giant manta ray's faeces.
Manta rays are threatened because of overfishing. The manta's gill rakers are used in a so-called Traditional Chinese Medicine. As it has become popular in recent years, the manta ray population has fallen dramatically, and the IUCN have declared giant manta rays as "vulnerable with an elevated risk of extinction".
The music, "Are We Dreaming", is by Solidtrax (http://soundcloud.com/solidtrax)
#mantaray #Thailand #scubadiving #underwater #manta