Microplastics: No small problem for ocean giants
Microplastic pollution is a major threat to filter-feeding animals such as manta rays, whale sharks and baleen whales. New research stresses the significant risks microplastics pose to megafauna since these need to swallow hundreds to thousands of cubic meters of water daily in their effort to capture plankton.
Filtering of indigestible plastic particles can block nutrient absorption and cause damage to the digestive tract of animals. Additionally, plastic-associated chemicals and pollutants can accumulate over decades and alter biological processes. An article about the research is published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution (News Item Marine Megafauna Foundation, 6 February 2018).
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