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RE: the biggest predators

not an expert, but....
> > 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.

I think hump-backs during migration do not feed for several months, so if
they used that time for feeding could theoretically grow larger...

> But on further reflection, your argument makes sense for filter
> feeders like the large whales, in which food is gathered in accordance
> with (roughly) the frontal area of the mouth =~ the cross-sectional
> area of the animal.  So at second glance, we'd think that there's a
> limit on the _length_ of filter-feeders (i.e. mass dividied by
> cross-sectional area.)

I don't think it's so simple.......filter feeders use huge "pouches" to
gather far more than would pass simply by an open mouth.....

cheers, m