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RE: the biggest predators
> So what's to stop marine animals, whose body
> density is pretty much identical to that of their environment, for
> growing forever? Why do whales top out at a puny two hundred-odd
> tonnes? Where are _really big_ whales?
As a living organism, a (marine) animal needs to eat (and to breathe, etc.),
in order to keep its metabolism running and to produce energy. The bigger
the body is, the more energy it need to function (breathing, cell
reproduction, etc.) (even if the relation is not that simple, it can be used
as an approximation).
So I think the amount of food an organism is able to eat during a given
lapse of time can be a factor of size limitation. A _really big_ whale would
have to spend too much time eating to keep it's _really big_ body
functioning. It could even have to spend more than 24 hours a day eating if
it was _really really big_ whale. Which could be hard to deal with...
There certainly exist much more reason, but this one seems quite logical.