Why are whales so big, and not bigger?

Why are whales so big, and not bigger?

Humpback whales being tagged by the research team off the coast of Antarctica in 2018. Credit: Goldbogen Laboratory, Stanford University

Whales are huge mammals weighing between 20 and 200 tonnes. The blue whale, the largest animal ever known to have existed, reaches more than 30 metres in length and its tongue alone is as heavy as an elephant.

But how did they get that big, what sets the smaller whales apart from the larger whales, and why aren’t they bigger? These questions have long fascinated scientists, but the answers have remained elusive.


Published by Cosmos.

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