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Flossy Barraud  MSc Marine Environmental Management 🐠🦈 🐳🌞 recently finished placement with Manta Trust in the MaldivesπŸ€Έβ€β™€οΈ

A slender suckerfish - a species of #remora 🐟 - hitches a ride on a reef manta ray. Remoras are fish that can literally suck onto manta rays and other megafauna using a suction cup above their heads. They are rewarded with protection from predators, food scraps and saving energy. Unfortunately, the manta ray may not benefit so much, and a sometimes 6+ remoras on one manta can increase energy expenditure and cause disturbance. Whenever I see a free swimming remora I stay well clear for fear of being suckered on to πŸ‘€
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#remora #manta #mantaray #relationship #fish #hitchhikers #gills #beautiful #ocean #marinebiology #marineconservation #olympustough #mantas #mantaalfredi #science #research #sea #love #travel #hanifarubay #maldives

#Throwback to swimming with mother and calf #humpback #whales in #Tonga last year. Miss my big blue playground πŸ‹πŸ‹πŸ‹πŸŒ .
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#humpbackwhales #vavau #gopro #mother #calf #bond #beautiful #ocean #love #travel #explore #gentlegiants #swimmingwithgiants #whale #sea #underwater #amazing

A male Manta alfredi, or reef manta, we spotted numerous times sporting a large and quite fresh 🦈 bite wound. Natural predators of #mantarays include sharks 🦈 & #orcas 🐬, although attacks are relatively rare in the Maldives with only ~10% of observed mantas exhibiting predation wounds. Luckily, #mantas have an incredible ability to regenerate tissue extremely quickly, and by this time next year this #shark bite may be almost unnoticeable. .
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#mantaray #rays #predator #sharks #predation #mantaalfredi #bite #regeneration #science #marinebiology #marineconservation #maldives #hanifarubay #baaatoll #amazing #love #beautiful #ocean #research #travel #olympustough

Wee windy day rockpooling on #Exmouth #beach with the sis @rosiebarraud πŸ™πŸ πŸ¦€πŸš
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#rockpooling #devon #windy #sky #sunset #starfish #shells #explore #travel #beautiful #love #ocean #exeter #sister #colourful

Meet Bernard πŸ‘‹ one of mine & @jensanimalinstincts favourite mantas (and despite the name a lady manta πŸ’β€β™€οΈ) who was a frequent visitor to #Hanifaru Bay through June and July. One of the most special things about being in the water with these gentle giants almost every day is getting to know different individuals and recognising them time and time again by their ventral spot pattern 🌟 #bernardthebarrelrollinbabe
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#manta #mantaray #barrelroll #feeding #magic #special #rays #elasmobranch #marineresearch #marineconservation #marinebiology #research #ventral #photoid #olympus #underwaterphotography #love #ocean #travel #explore #hanifarubay #Baaatoll #maldives

Throwback to the BEST DAY EVER 🦈🦈🦈. #Zooplankton - like the copepods you can see buzzing around here - gets concentrated in Hanifaru Bay by currents and water movement. This is especially pronounced at hide tide and during the new and full moon. This video was taken around new moon when we arrived to find not only dozens of #mantas but a bloody #whale #shark! The plankton had drawn in these mega filter feeders for a feast we were incredibly lucky to witness. Once we had got over our screams and excitement at the #whaleshark we got busy getting the ID shot of each manta. πŸ‘ŒπŸ¦ˆπŸŒ
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#mantaray #whaleshark #hanifarubay #maldives #baaatoll #marine #research #mantatrust #mantaresearch #photoid #love #ocean #sea #filterfeeders #olympustg4 #amazing #dive #freedive #travel #explore #beautiful

Favites coral species πŸ€ the Maldives suffered severe coral bleaching in 2016, and lost up to 90% of it's coral in some areas. It is encouraging to see some coral species persisting and some new recruits πŸ‘Ά on the skeletons of the 2016 reef. Coral reefs are insanely important for humans - supporting huge fishing 🐠 and tourism industries - and the ocean, as these miniscule creatures provide a home for a quarter of all marine speciesπŸ™πŸ πŸ¦€πŸ‘. If you haven't seen it yet, check out @chasingcoral and see how coral hero's worldwide are working to save our beautiful reefs! .
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#coral #coralreef #ecosystem #love #fish #favites #macro #underwaterphotography #Maldives #coralbleaching #climatechange #savecoral #marine #marineconservation #love #beautiful #ocean #travel #explore #olympus

I spy with my little eye ... a wee pseudoceros susanae flatworm πŸ› endless πŸ’¦ treasure hunts in the #Maldives 🌏
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#flatworm #worm #susansflatworm #macro #Baaatoll #underwaterphotography #olympustg4 #travel #explore #underwater #dive #padi #beautiful #colourful #love #ocean #sea

This is how I spent a lot of my summer working with the @mantatrust πŸ–€ every manta ray has a unique pattern of spots & smudges on their bellies, just like humans have unique fingerprints. Through photographing each manta we see at each survey site, and cataloguing environmental conditions and behaviour, researchers have built up huge databases of individual manta rays spanning years, which tell us about the manta ray population health, fecundity, feeding behaviour and environmental influences on mantas. This information can help us to better understand manta rays, in order to better protect them. ☻ I can't wait to reunite with these #gentlegiants in #Komodo next month 🌏
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#mantas #mantarays #rays #elasmobranch #marineconservation #marinebiology #research #conservation #science #marine #protect #love #ocean #underwater #freedive #freediving #travel #explore #photoid #beautiful #Maldives #baaatoll #hanifarubay

Throwback to waking up to this view πŸ€Έβ€β™€οΈπŸ™πŸ¦ˆ .
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#Maldives #ariatoll #paradise #views #beautiful #blue #love #ocean #sea #travel #explore #dive #marineconservation

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