Subject: Blue Whale

Peter Scheifele (
Thu, 27 Mar 1997 09:24:44 -0500

Dear Scott,

        Your question is good but I'm afraid that the answer may be somewhat
debatable.  I'm a physicist so my answ may not hold but it seems to me that
if goes by the strcit definition of "carnivore" that the blue whale would be
considered to be "carnivorous" in that krill and other items that the whales
digests are "meat".  Remember that this is all kind of by default and that
the blue whale is not a member of the taxonomic order Carnivora.  I guess
the answer is parctically yes but biologically no.

At 08:42 PM 3/26/97 -0500, you wrote:
>I was recently asked the question, "What is the largest carnivore that
>lives in water?" While searching the net I came across numerous sites
>that stated that the sperm whale is the largest carnivore in the world.
>However, I am aware that the Blue whale feeds on krill. Does this put
>the Blue whale in the carniverous category, making it the largest
>carnivore? Any assistance you could give me on this matter would be
>greatly appreciated.
>	`					Thank you,								Scott Anthony
Peter M. Scheifele
National Undersea Research Center
University of Connecticut
Bioacoustic Research
1084 Shennecossett Road
Groton,  CT  06340-6097
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