Just How Big was Balucatherium?


Balucatherium is probably as large as a land mammal can become. The only mammals that are bigger are whales.


(Above: The blue whale can grow up to lengths of 27 m (90 ft.))


What allows whales to become so large is the advantage of living in water. The weight of the animal can be supported by the buoancy of the surrounding water. Although the bones of Balucatherium are sound enough to carry its own weight, it was once hypothesized that maybe Balucatherium was aquatic.

Another problem that arises for large animals is the difficulty in loosing body heat. The larger an animal becomes the lower the ratio becomes between mass and surface area on the body. Larger animals must constantly conserve there energy so they do not become over heated.


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