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re: predators of large animals
Eric Goodwin notes that large animals (today) may not have predators.
Basically true, but the example of Blue whales is not. First-hand accounts
from whalers in the 1950's and '60's state that killer whales characterist-
tically predated on blue whales (and fin and sei whales), especially by
eating out their tongues, leaving them to die of starvation. Apparently
the tongue was quite rich in oils and much more manageable than the
main torso. (Fins and flukes are also quite tough).
We have "niced" the orcas into cute, playful creatures. They're not.
But they are valuable to marine ecosystems *as* fierce predators.