World's largest animal may still be getting bigger

Changes in climate may have made the largest animal on Earth much bigger than it originally was.

Based on fossil records, whales were apparently much smaller millions of years ago.

But a new study published in the journal Royal Society B says changes in the climate affected the main food sources of many whales, krill and small fish.

The change in climate made the krill pack together in small areas and whales such as Humpbacks and the largest whales, Blue Whales, that use baleen to filter out the krill, simply out-ate their smaller cousins.

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: A Humpback whale in mid lunge, feeding on Bunker off NYC's Rockaway Beach on September 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Artie Raslich/Getty Images)
SEA OF CORTEZ, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO - 2015/02/20: Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) slapping the pectoral fin on the water in the Bahia de La Paz, Sea of Cortez in Baja California, Mexico. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Humpback mother and calf.Baja Coast MexicoThe 2 whales were swimming along the Baja coast of Mexico, in the Pacific Ocean just outside Cabo
Humpback whale calf with mother shot in Vava'u Tonga in clear water. Sun is sparkling on the whales back.
Pod of humpback whales Maui, Hawaii at sunset.
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USA, Alaska, Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaengliae) sending up plumes of mist while group feeding in Chatham Strait on summer evening
(photo: Pat Hawks/Flickr)

Jeremy Goldbogen, a researcher from Stanford University, says there could be another reason these whales got so big.

He says that at the time these whales began to grow larger, the ice ages were beginning.

With that came upwelling that pushed water packed nutrients and food from deeper waters right up for the whales to feast on and grow really big, really fast.

With today's current changing climate, Goldbogen's next question is "are whales still getting bigger?"

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