Blue Whale: Crown of Big Stomach
Blue whales are currently the largest known animals in the world. They are 33 meters long and weigh more than 200 tons. They are very large. The tongue of an adult blue whale weighs the same as an adult elephant, and their heart weighs 590 kilograms, about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. In order to support their huge body, their appetite is amazing!
Blue whales can eat up to 5 tons of food a day. What’s interesting is that the food for such a huge animal is mainly tiny krill. When the blue whale opens its big mouth, water and plankton will flow into this “big mouth”, and then the blue whale will squeeze the abdominal cavity and tongue to expel the seawater from the gap in the baleen plate, leaving behind the krill in the water. 40 million krill died in the whale mouth.
Giant panda: eat for 14 hours a day
Does the slowness of the three-toed sloth “Lightning” in “Zoo City” make you laugh? And you can never think of a panda that is similar to this slow-moving animal with extremely low metabolic rate. It is also a typical representative of inactive and slow-moving creatures. The panda consumes only 1,100 calories a day. What are pandas doing most of the time?
The answer is to eat and sleep. Every day, pandas spend 14 hours eating 12.5 kilograms of bamboo. Except for a small amount of activity, they sleep for the rest of the time. Between each two meals, they sleep for 2 to 4 hours, and then eat after they wake up. However, the pandas also have reasons to do so.
The ancestors of giant pandas were carnivores. Later, in the long evolutionary process, as bamboo was more easily available, the diet of giant pandas gradually relied on bamboo, but their digestive system did not change much and remained the same as carnivores. : The digestive tract is short, the canine teeth are sharp, and there is no cecum. This presents a problem: the giant panda’s intestine lacks specific bacteria that decompose cellulose, so the percentage of calories that giant pandas get from bamboo cellulose is very low. Although they eat a lot of bamboo, they can only digest 17% of it. . In order to gain nutrition, giant pandas can only make up for it by constantly “eating”.
Shrew: starve, you will die
Mr. Big, wearing a tuxedo with a pipe in “Zoo Crazy City”, has gained a lot of fans because he resembles the Godfather of Corleone in the Hollywood movie “The Godfather”, and its prototype is actually a shrew.
Shrews are very small. The largest shrew is about 15 cm long and weighs 100 grams, while the smallest is only 3.5 cm and 2 grams. It is about the size of a coin and is the smallest land mammal. You might think that such a small animal does not need much food at all. If you think so, you are wrong.
An adult male elephant in South Africa weighs about 6 tons. It spends 17 hours a day foraging and eats 60 kilograms of dry food. Although the food intake looks large, the food only accounts for a small proportion of its weight. Ordinary shrews have to eat 80%-90% of their body weight every day, and eat once every 2 to 3 hours. Pygmy shrews also have to eat three times their body weight, which means they have to hunt every 15 to 30 minutes.
Hummingbird: Eat 48 times in 8 hours
”Comet”, “Forest Goddess” and “Corolla” are human praises of hummingbirds. These small, brightly colored birds are regarded by many as goddesses in the forest, and the “Forest Goddesses” are actually big stomach kings. .
A hummingbird eats about twice the amount of food that is heavier than its body every day. Within 8 hours, it can eat about 48 times, and it will prey once every 10 minutes. The reason for such a big appetite is also because hummingbirds consume very much energy. Their wings need to vibrate 50 times per second on average. Their metabolic rate is the fastest among vertebrates, and their heartbeat can reach 500 beats per minute. Therefore, in order to obtain a huge amount of food, hummingbirds must be very hardworking, eating hundreds of flowers and hundreds of fruit flies every day.
Caterpillar: Amazing food intake
The most greedy animal in the world was born. According to the Guinness Book of Records, it is a moth from North America-the polyphonic emperor silkworm. This tan moth has an average wing width of 15 cm. The most prominent appearance is the eye-shaped purple spots on its two hind wings. Its English name is therefore named after the Cyclops in Greek mythology. The reason why it broke the record this time was because a polyphonic caterpillar ate 86,000 times its body weight in 56 days!
However, this record is still subject to some doubts, but another recent study showed that a polyphonic caterpillar can eat 1/2-2/3 of its own body weight per day. If converted, it is quite An adult has to eat 23 to 91 kilograms of lettuce every day. And they eat so much to save energy for the great change from caterpillars to moths. Once an adult becomes a moth, the polyphonic emperor silkworm will not eat any more food. The adult lifespan is also very short, only 5-6 days. After mating and laying eggs, they will die.
Why do small animals have such a big appetite
This is because mammals are warm-blooded animals. In order to maintain a constant body temperature, the amount of heat produced in the body and the amount of heat dissipated from the surface must be equal. The larger the animal body, the smaller the ratio of body surface area to volume, and the higher the efficiency of maintaining body temperature. Conversely, the smaller the body size, the greater the ratio of body surface area to volume, and the lower the efficiency of maintaining body temperature. Therefore, their metabolic rate is generally higher.
For small mammals like shrews, in order to maintain a very fast metabolic rate, their breathing and heart rate are very fast, so as to obtain oxygen and transport it to all corners of the body. At rest, shrews breathe about 800 times per minute, and their heart rate is 1,000 times per minute. In contrast, humans only breathe about 18 times per minute, with resting heartbeats 60 times per minute. Therefore, shrews need to take in a lot of calories to offset their huge energy expenditure, and if they do not eat within 5 hours, these small animals will die of hunger.