Leedsichthys was a giant fish (27m or 88 ft)that would have dwarfed every other animal in the sea, but it was a gentle giant that lived on the tiny shrimps, jellyfish and small fish that make up plankton. It would have swum slowly through the upper waters of the ocean, taking mouthfuls of plankton-rich water and sieving them through the giant mesh-plates at the back of its mouth. Its feeding habits were similar to the modern blue whale, which also survives on nothing but plankton.

They probably travelled large distances to find parts of the world where seasonal conditions caused plankton to form itself into a dense concentrated organic soup. Once a year, and probably after plankton feasts, Leedsichthys would have shed the giant filter plates from the back of its mouth, meaning it was unable to feed itself for several weeks, whilst the new ones grew back. Towards the end of this time it would have become weakened through hunger and vulnerable to attack.

The Jurassic seas in which Leedsichthys lived were a dangerous place and despite its size, it had no formal means of defending itself against predators such as Liopleurodon and Metriorhynchus. One attack would be unlikely to kill a full-grown Leedsichthys, but several predators could have inflicted fatal damage, leaving this defenceless giant to die slowly from its wounds.

Info via: bbc.co.uk

This post is posted on Saturday 21 December 2013.
Currently has 559 notes
Tagged as: ocean sea science animals prehistoric marine amazing
559 notes - Show notes
  1. rya12 reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  2. lurvme reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  3. missygirl596 reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  4. bishounenchewbacca reblogged this from pleasant-canadians
  5. pleasant-canadians reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  6. sleepwalkoutmilesaway reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  7. mellorama reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  8. atticuschapin reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  9. luc-bei reblogged this from f22-pilot
  10. f22-pilot reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  11. generalgrievouss reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  12. atumorcalledemily reblogged this from popularkick
  13. falling-downn reblogged this from popularkick
  14. popularkick reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  15. bigassquesadillas reblogged this from mentalalchemy
  16. oddzandenz reblogged this from thedevintownsendfanproject
  17. thenixkat reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  18. magneticluv reblogged this from calliopedarling
  19. naoishappy reblogged this from boneguts
  20. lokithelaughingman reblogged this from calliopedarling
  21. justaturtlepassingthrough reblogged this from calliopedarling
  22. calliopedarling reblogged this from shjinchan
  23. reefy222 reblogged this from boneguts
  24. meinekleinemaus reblogged this from boneguts
  25. boneguts reblogged this from techscinews
  26. techscinews reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  27. sting-like-jelly reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  28. drag0nslay3r reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  29. hiimkizzy reblogged this from bellafibs
  30. frysauce-chan reblogged this from zanetheaiden
  31. chaotic-old-soul reblogged this from mentalalchemy
  32. infestissumam reblogged this from lordaerons