A manta ray, Manta birostris, opens its mouth wide to engulf zooplankton and other tidbits in the water. The dark marks visible inside the mouth are its gill slits. Manta rays, which are filter feeders and have vestigial teeth, often appear to be curious about human divers. WHOI biologist Simon Thorrold photographed the ray while studying fish on and around coral reefs in the Red Sea in May, 2010, as part of WHOI’s research collaboration with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
Image credit: Simon Thorrold, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution