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Design of life: Do really big life forms require 3-D (marine) hunting?

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The blue whale is considered, according to National Geographic,

Blue whales are the largest animals ever known to have lived on Earth. These magnificent marine mammals rule the oceans at up to 100 feet (30 meters) long and upwards of 200 tons (181 metric tons). Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant. Their hearts, as much as an automobile.

They consume four tons of shrimp-like krill a day.

How do they get to be SO big? The biggest dinosaurs maxed at 100 tons.

From “Life Scientists View Biodiversity Through a Whole New Dimension: Body Size, Feeding Rates” (ScienceDaily, May 31, 2012), we learn something that helps us understand: The whale hunts in 3-D:

“Would you rather search for food in two dimensions or three?” Savage asks. “That is, would you rather search for food just left-to-right and forward-to-backward on the floor of a room, or would you also want to search up-and-down, from floor to ceiling? When I quiz people, including scientists, most say they would rather search in two dimensions because it would be easier to find food. But we found that in nature the third dimension usually adds a huge number of extra resources. Ultimately, searching in this extra dimension provides many more chances to find food.”

The UCLA researchers developed a new mathematical model that predicted that feeding rates increase more quickly with body size in three dimensions than in two. The model helps explain why huge whales can subsist on tiny krill in three dimensions — but likely could not in two dimensions, if they had evolved to live on land.

Interesting. So sea monsters are more likely than land monsters.

Blue whale:

Comments from broadcasters: “It’s built so perfectly” “A living submarine”

2 Replies to “Design of life: Do really big life forms require 3-D (marine) hunting?

  1. 1
    Jerad says:

    And I would have thought the limitations of bones and muscle to support so much weight on land would have been a factor as well.

  2. 2
    News says:

    Yes, surely! But these guys may be on to something in that, for sheer size, hunting in thee dimensions could create some ops not available in two. Good thought anyway.

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