How big could an an­i­mal get?

Focus-Science and Technology - - Q & A - LIAM FARMER, LV

BASED PURELY ON the phys­i­cal strength of bone and mus­cle,mus­cle it has been cal­cu­lated that land an­i­mals of at least 100 tonnes and pos­si­bly as much as 1,000 tonnes ought to be able to sup­port their own weight and move around. That’s much big­ger than even the largest di­nosaur ( Ar­genti­nosaurus prob­a­bly weighed 80 tonnes at most), but that’s be­cause other lim­its cut in first.first The largest an­i­mal to have ever lived is the blue whale. At 180 tonnes, it al­ready has to eat 1.5 mil­lion calo­ries a day. Blue whales eat krill, which is one of the most abun­dant food sources in the ocean. Even so, about half the global pop­u­la­tion of krill is eaten ev­ery year by whales, seals and fish. A sin­gle freak blue whale that was dou­ble the nor­mal size could still prob­a­bly find enough food to sus­tain it­self. But if all blue whales grew this big, the pop­u­la­tion would need to be smaller and they would re­pro­duce even more slowly than they do now, making them more vul­ner­a­ble to ex­tinc­tion.

The col­lid­ing An­ten­nae Galax­ies spark rapid

star for­ma­tion

the big­gest di­nosaur, is still dwarfed by

the blue whale

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