News & Information

How Giant Whales Fill Up on Tiny Creatures

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Jun 27, 2017 11:00 pm
  • 17:20

Guest: Jean Potvin, PhD, Professor of Physics, St. Louis University The largest creature on the planet survives by feeding on some of the smallest life forms. It’s the blue whale, and every day it consumes up to 4 tons of shrimplike animals called krill, which are only a couple of inches long. The secret to getting enough of its teeny-tiny food to maintain its huge body lies in the blue whale’s comb-like rows of teeth, called baleen. Jean Potvin at St. Louis University has been using the laws of physics to unlock the feeding secrets of baleen whales.