Manta rays inspire new device to filter microplastics

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Wastewater treatment plants release microplastics into the environment, where they accumulate and pose a threat to wildlife. But by studying the way a manta ray feeds on plankton, scientists in the US have designed a filtration system that captures the tiny fragments without getting clogged.

Voice: Patrick Aryee

Digital producers: Christopher Brooks and Jennifer Green

Animator: Jules Bartl

With thanks to Prof Misty Paig-Tran, California State University, Fullerton

For more on this story and other animals that have inspired inventions, listen to ‘30 Animals That Made Us Smarter‘ on BBC World Service.