Introduction: Voracious (01:26)
In the Pacific Ocean, appetite and food procurement methods widely vary. It is the biggest ocean, accounting for one third of the planet's surface.
Blue Whale (04:01)
The blue whale grows to 100 feet long and 200 tons; it feeds on 40 million swarming krill a day. Its massive mouth is toothless, filtering the crustaceans through baleen plates, swallowing half a ton at one time. It annually travels thousands of miles to find large swarms.
Manta Ray (02:49)
The manta ray grows to fifteen feet across and one and a half tons. It must keep moving to breathe; it filters plankton from the water almost constantly, benefiting from its continual motion.
Nomura's Jellyfish (05:30)
The Nomura's jellyfish starts the size of a pinhead and quickly grows to two yards across. Its mouth does not get bigger, but it grows hundreds more; it drifts on currents, feeding on microscopic plankton. It belongs to an ancient lineage, but lives only four seasons.
Peppered Moray Eel (05:05)
On an atoll of the Marshall Islands, peppered moray eels hunt in an unusual manner; they feed on shore, keeping their gills wet in tide pools. Watch a specimen use sight and scent to track and catch a Lightfoot crab.
The coral reef off Kenting, Taiwan is the world's largest, providing both food and protection to a quarter of marine animals. The Lionfish entertains and mesmerizes its prey before gobbling it up; it is colorful with fan-like fins; they do not behave like predators. The Blue Streak Wrasse does a calming dance in order to clean the fish of parasites and dead tissues.
Giant Green Anemone (04:09)
Big Sur Giant Green Anemones grow 10 inches across, typically preying on small fish and shellfish. Double Crested Cormorants are skilled divers, but ocean swells batter them and the shoreline. Watch anemones latch onto and eat a dead bird as it passes by; they are living stomachs with expanding mouths.
Whale Sharks (05:24)
Every fall off the coast of Mexico, plankton blooms create a nursery for Whale Sharks; scientists theorize that vulnerable juveniles gather there to grow. The world's largest fish gets to 50 feet long; they bulk up in the Sea of Cortez, pumping massive amounts of plankton through filter organs, growing two feet every visit. After reaching 25 feet, they no longer voyage there.
Marine Iguana (05:11)
Only four of the 100 volcanic Galapagos Islands are inhabited; the lava clad shores are home to the world's only marine iguana. The lizard dives 50 feet to dine on seafloor algae, and can hold its breath for an hour; cold blooded, it must bask on hot rocks afterward. Salt is filtered and expelled by a gland in its nose; watch iguanas sneeze out salt water.
The largest tortoise on Earth grows to 900 pounds and moves slowly. They survive by migration, following grass flushes on the islands; they sleep sixteen hours a day, and can live up to a year without food and water. Wildlife tourism brought invasive species to the area, competitors for food; the Galapagos nearly went extinct, but introduction of guava has secured populations.
Kelp Forests (08:01)
Off the California coast, forests of giant kelp vigorously grow 150 feet from the ocean floor; the habitat stretches to Alaska; it is a diverse ecosystem, offering food and shelter. The Red Urchin feeds on its fibrous anchors, reducing a forest to desert in months. The Sea Otter feasts on 1500 urchins a day, protecting the kelp, which absorbs carbon and sustains balance. (Credits)
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