Зоологи узнали, почему киты стали крупнейшими животными

Зоологи узнали, почему киты стали крупнейшими животными

Вода не столько позволила, сколько вынудила их вырасти

Зоологи узнали, почему киты стали крупнейшими животными
фото: pixabay.com

Предполагается, что около 50 миллионов лето назад трёхметровое четвероногое млекопитающее амбулоцетус, внешне напоминающее крокодила, стало осваивать водный образ жизни. Впоследствии оно стало предком современных китообразных, строение и размеры которых значительно изменились в процессе эволюции. Если некоторые из этих животных – к примеру, морские свиньи или многие виды дельфинов – до сих пор остаются сопоставимыми по размерам с древним предком, то ряд усатых китов достигают до 33 трех метров в длину, а весят до 160 тонн.

По предположению специалистов, к постепенному увеличению массы китов привело отсутствие естественных врагов. Тем не менее, специалисты выделили ряд других факторов, способствующих или, напротив, ограничивающих рост этих животных. С одной стороны, большое тело может хранить большее количество энергии, необходимой на поиск пищи, которой в море бывает мало. С другой стороны, больше энергии крупное тело и расходует на собственный обогрев. При этом хищным представителям китообразных необходимо ещё и охотиться, что также требует от них тратить силы. В то же время, усатые киты, среди которых крупнейшие в мире животные и встречаются, питаются планктоном из воды, для добычи которого не требуется чрезмерно активных действий. Таким образом, необходимость обогревать своё тело всё же ограничивает их рост, однако им выгодно как можно сильнее приблизиться к этому максимальному значению.

Исследование было опубликовано в журнале Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Источник: mk.ru

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