You don’t see oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico any more. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that it’s gone. It may be affecting creatures such as manta rays, which are filter feeder fish that live in the Gulf. They take in seawater and filter out plankton and small animals to eat. Scientists don’t know much about manta biology, and aren’t positive how the oil that remains in the Gulf will affect the rays. It may disrupt their feeding, breeding, breathing, or migrations. The remaining oil could cause problems for the “ways mantas live their day-to-day lives for years,” said marine biologist Andrea Marshall of the Mozambique-based Foundation for the Protection of Marine Megafauna.
Read more about the manta rays in the Gulf of Mexico on National Geographic News.
How much do you know about the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Quiz Your Noodle and find out.
Photograph by Jackie Reid, Flower Garden Banks NMS, NOAA
Content produced by National Geographic. Funded in part by the National Science Foundation under Award # DRL-1045744