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How do whales sustain themselves on krill?

How do whales sustain themselves on krill?

As big as whales are, when they see a giant swarm of food floating in the water, all they have to do is swim through the swarm with their mouths open and get as many krill into their mouth as possible in a single pass.

What does krill do for whales?

Krill is the chief food source of baleen whales including the blue whale. Reddish in appearance, the tiny crustaceans are swallowed in vast quantities by the whales, sieved out of seawater using the bristly baleen plates in their mouths.

How do whales get so big eating krill?

One of the main constraints to eating, for baleen whales, is to open their mouths wide enough to swallow massive amounts of krill-containing water. And guess who has bigger mouths? Bigger baleen whales. For baleen whales, feeding efficiency increases with mouth size, which in turn increases with large body sizes.

What is the krill paradox?

The Krill Paradox The loss of whales from the ecosystem caused a substantial loss in the volumes of krill and the fish that feed on them. This contradiction to seemingly valid reasoning became known as the “krill paradox”.

What happens when whales eat krill?

Krill, small shrimp-like crustaceans* that blue whales eat almost exclusively, contain a significant amount of iron – a scarce nutrient in the open ocean. When whales eat krill they convert the protein into blubber and defecate* iron-rich waste.

Can krill be eaten by humans?

Human consumption Krill is a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids which are under development in the early 21st century as human food, dietary supplements as oil capsules, livestock food, and pet food. Krill tastes salty with a somewhat stronger fish flavor than shrimp.

How many krill do whales eat a day?

When it comes to eating food, the blue whale can consume as many as 40 million krill per day, which ends up weighing close to 8,000 pounds of food daily!

Does a whale poop in the ocean?

When a whale releases its excrement the whales poop comes out as an almost liquid form of fecal matter (often in a plume-like cloud) and is light enough that it does not sink to the bottom sea but floats across the top of the ocean; in some cases the excrement may also come out in chunks rather than a plume-like cloud.

What is the relationship between whales and krill?

Whales are not simply a major consumer of krill and fish, but play a critical role in sustaining the very krill and fish populations upon which they feed. Simply put: more whales = more nutrients = more phytoplankton = more small fish and krill.

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