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What happens when a blue whale dies?

Thursday - July 5, 2018 10:01 am , Category : Fun Facts

WTN- The largest animal species, the blue whale can weigh 200 tons. When the blue whale dies, other animals may feast on its remains for more than a century.

When the carcass sinks to the ocean floor. It is first swarmed by mobile scavengers such as sleeper sharks, hagfish and king crabs who nibble away at soft tissue- for up to a decade. When they fish, worms, snails, clams, and limpets settle in on the lipid-rich carcass for another ten years or so. Joining them are recently discovered gutless zombie worms that bore into the bones and mine the lipids, assisted by bacteria inside their bodies.

Then more clams, snails, crustaceans, and worms feed on sulfides release by bacteria that have invaded the bones of the carcass. This stage  may last a hundred years even after all the nutrients are depleted, the blue whale’s crumbled carcass provide a reef like home for filter feeders.

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