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Why Are Marine Mammals So Big?

9168 ratings | 245952 views
Marine mammals are famously large, but why is that? And is there a polar bear-sized sea otter in our future? Check out PBS Eons!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OSRKtT_9vw Hosted by: Olivia Gordon Head to https://scishowfinds.com/ for hand selected artifacts of the universe! ---------- Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow ---------- Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters: Jerry Perez, Lazarus G, Sam Lutfi, Kevin Knupp, Nicholas Smith, D.A. Noe, alexander wadsworth, سلطان الخليفي, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, Charles Southerland, Bader AlGhamdi, James Harshaw, Patrick D. Ashmore, Candy, Tim Curwick, charles george, Saul, Mark Terrio-Cameron, Viraansh Bhanushali. Kevin Bealer, Philippe von Bergen, Chris Peters, Justin Lentz ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow ---------- Sources: https://news.stanford.edu/2018/03/26/aquatic-mammals-need-big-not-big/ http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1712629115 https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/b/blue-whale/ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-did-whales-evolve-73276956/ http://www.uvm.edu/~dstratto/bcor102/readings/01_phylogenetics.pdf https://www.nature.com/articles/ng.3198 http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Tables/thrcn.html http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/303400 Media Sources: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Indohyus_BW.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Puijila_darwini_(fossil).jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tethytheria_2.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mustela_nivalis_-British_Wildlife_Centre-4.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Humpback_whale_by_Christopher_Michel.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Manatee_and_fishes_underwater_photo.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lev-Beh-Ziz.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dark_Dolphin.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:London_MMB_%C2%BB189_Natural_History_Museum.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sea_otters_holding_hands,_cropped.jpg
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Text Comments (698)
Titus (20 hours ago)
here's a weird thing about evolution there were animals that evolved legs to walk on land and for some reason evolved to go back and live in the ocean
Angelo Tognon (1 day ago)
I want a giant otter as a pet
saamohod (1 day ago)
Just imagine Olivia converge on 500kg in 1 million years!
Sensei Tauntaun (2 days ago)
Hyaenas and hyaenadons (in the weasel family) got much bigger.
Ninja Man (2 days ago)
Do a thing about pangolins
Does this chick have Parkinson's?
stellvia hoenheim (3 days ago)
She kinda looked like a cow with that piercing
Poptartsicles (3 days ago)
@02:37 You missed a perfect opportunity for a pun. "Otterly terrifying." Hah!
blackreaper (3 days ago)
Hey...shut up your dumb face and annoying voice...
/encode (3 days ago)
Missed opportunity to say "otterly terrifying" lmfao
Ekaterina Alekseeva (3 days ago)
Oh my God! Olivia is sooooo much better in this video than she used to be, not to mention her improved looks. Her hair is stunning and just look at these earrings ). The intonation could be a bit more diverse but it’s just a matter of practice.
deathmeat (3 days ago)
Olivia you are a great host and beautiful person😍 , ignore the haters 😣😡✊
Jase Hurl (3 days ago)
She gets red
Stephen Robinson (3 days ago)
I thought it might be so the big lungs can store more oxygen
Joshua Tobler (3 days ago)
I want an episode on Giant Isopods. Are they really the same species as a wood louse? How the heck did they get that big? Also, are all those videos with people holding Giant Isopods hoaxes?
Steve W (3 days ago)
Great vid!
Mike Watn (4 days ago)
very pretty today
eli aguilar (4 days ago)
Liv is so cute! Love her look in this video
Mortimer Stroodle (4 days ago)
Otters also have other methods for heat conservation that might reduce the need for large body size. They have fur that traps bubbles of air for insulation. They constantly groom this fur to make sure its stays as efficient as possible at keeping them warm, and have special oil glands that help with grooming.
Matt Damon (4 days ago)
“Sea otters are basically just really big weasels.”
hinrikelvar (4 days ago)
Good thing I wont be around to see those huge and otterly horrifying otters!
Jake Thornton (4 days ago)
i wonder if she knows about the otter future in south park lol
Pekezuz666 (4 days ago)
I think a lot of peoples opinion would change of her if she wore something a bit more revealing/attractive 😅
Owen Hunt (4 days ago)
Cuteness and terror are not mutually exclusive. Example: jungle cats, cute, also terrifying.
Gonzo Volante (4 days ago)
Its giant Allied Atheist Alliance!!!!!!
Brentavious (4 days ago)
God I would make sweet sweet love to our narrator today. Shes so adorable
Duke Frywokker (4 days ago)
So the fur of the otter has nothing to do with their ability to stay thinner, yet warm?
Heu Valadao (4 days ago)
Great. Now make a video about the only two biological genders, please.
ChicagoJon2016 (4 days ago)
Would you rather cuddle a polar bear sized sea otter or a otter sized polar bear?
Res Art (5 days ago)
Waith till polar bears become fully marine
CrocosNZ (5 days ago)
500Kg Sea Otters would be BOTH ridiculously cute AND utterly terrifying. Just like Polar Bears.
Blueeyesthewarrior (5 days ago)
Aww. All of these are animals adorable. I love it.
IraTheSquire (5 days ago)
"Much cooler" As cool as the ocean water? :P
Tahoe Jones (5 days ago)
mrscary3105 (5 days ago)
I am in the "Cute Camp" with giant otters. :)
drummer265 (5 days ago)
This is why I love SciShow. Saw the thumbnail and thought "probably because of buoyancy" only to watch the video and see there's more factors than I thought. Love learning more--keep it up guys!
Greg Christie (5 days ago)
Terrifyingly cute
Joseph Bloggs (5 days ago)
I just remembered why I stopped watching this channel. That voice is like nails on a chalkboard
shoutitallloud (5 days ago)
that ring...
TheWeeaboo (5 days ago)
That's what she said.
Abraham Drinkin (5 days ago)
The answer to this video is: we don't know, still researching.
rubadux (5 days ago)
0:15 The prewhaling idea! 😂😂
steveXracer (5 days ago)
The religion of evolution is a lie
Tim O'Brien (5 days ago)
Cute or terrifying? Both! "Aw, it's adorable... and it's going to kill me."
noybw333 (5 days ago)
Ooo love your earrings
Jak (5 days ago)
Colossal squid? Or is that fakery... It's hard to tell these days.
Alan Parris (5 days ago)
That upward inflection on the end of every statement she makes is super cringe.
qthoshi (5 days ago)
I knew seals were just water dogs!
Sous le Soleil (5 days ago)
God that white elitist accent is unbearable!
Perplexion Dangerman (5 days ago)
Bigger Propellers or Fins might be more efficient.  And big muscle for torque and horsepower.  sci show, not moto
Godzilla (5 days ago)
What about sperm whales?
348frank348 (5 days ago)
DJ (5 days ago)
can you not look straight and talk, can not follow you.
Michael Baker (5 days ago)
Unlike all those other marine mammal groups otters rely on fur for insulation. I believe fur is a better insulator than blubber and otter fur is ridiculously dense. That might be why they haven't got so big.
MsZeeZed (5 days ago)
Not being 500kg could be an advantage to the sea otter’s successful lifestyle (fur trade hunting aside). Unlike the other seagoing mammals they don’t have blubber, instead they have the outright densest mammalian fur which needs constant cleaning to trap an insulating air layer underwater. Extra energy expenditure & time for fur cleaning may preclude the extra hunting needed (25% of bodyweight per day) for a larger body size.
Alberto Portugal (5 days ago)
I am a baleen whale and I’m offended
Phoenix (5 days ago)
So many negative comments. I like Olivia a lot. She is......I dunno....Lovely.
Phoenix (5 days ago)
I was looking for Instagram account of Oilvia. Couldn't find. :(
SparrowFae (5 days ago)
Any weasel-y animal is cute. But is entirely possible to be TERRIFYINGLY CUTE.
Frost Hunter (5 days ago)
Idk... maybe tHaT’s WhAt ShE sAid...
Paul Sager (5 days ago)
You have the voice from #selfie who else noticed ?
Haiti LeBlanc (5 days ago)
Polar bear is the 5th example of mammal returning to the sea 🌊
Kayley199514 (5 days ago)
Could it be because otters have fur? Therefore they don't need the same kind of heat distribution
Dank Buds (5 days ago)
Would you care to explain to me how whales just developed bristles to catch their food I mean I'd like to get to work sooner can I just develop biological wings so that I can start flying
Kengur (5 days ago)
Its odd that you don't mention their food sources as the factor at all. Except the blue whales.
Kaela Olsen (5 days ago)
Kaela Olsen (5 days ago)
THANK YOU SCISHOW!!!!!! BUT WILL YOU PLEASE DO A VIDEO ON GLIOMAS!!?!?!!????? Or at least give me a yes or no???????
Blue River Bane (5 days ago)
Bad video. Giant otters will be incredibly adorable. Fake science.
Luigi Cappetta (5 days ago)
Very educational. Thank you.
trueperson22 (5 days ago)
3:04 scientific error. Ambulocetus natans is not the ancestor of whales. Please be more careful. http://evolutionfactormyth.blogspot.com/2013/03/ambulocetus-natans.html
trueperson22 (5 days ago)
0:39 scientific error. indohyus is not the ancestor of whales. Please be more careful. http://evolutionfactormyth.blogspot.com/2013/03/indohyus.html
Danielle M (5 days ago)
That would be .... OTTERLY terrifying. They missed a very good opportunity
Joy L (5 days ago)
Cool answers!
Ethan Ross (5 days ago)
I imagine sea otters aee limited by there much faster metabolism, compared to the slower metabolism of slow growing cetaceans and pinnepeds
Flaykz (5 days ago)
It sounds like you say: " The blue whale WAS the largest animal that's ever existed." Whats up with that?
Kaine Bishop (5 days ago)
+Flaykz Maybe you need to get tested for autism.
Flaykz (5 days ago)
Maybe you should check your privilege
Kaine Bishop (5 days ago)
+Flaykz Maybe you need to get tested.
Flaykz (5 days ago)
Frick you and you hearing privilege. Great that you could hear it correctly the first time.
Kaine Bishop (5 days ago)
+Flaykz Yes very clearly.
K Larsen (5 days ago)
Yamo go for "Otterly cute" - from a distance, that is...
bobbyjoejrfred (5 days ago)
I think sea otters are small because they followed a different evolutionary path. Whales, seals, and manatees have no fur and instead depend on their blubber to keep warm and have the cold water in contact with their skin. Otters on the other hand have some of the thickest fur of any mammal which traps a lot of air and keeps their skin from getting wet. Unless there is some process that puts pressure on them to lose that fur I don't think they'll grow a whole lot larger
James Neave (5 days ago)
Remember, whenever a god botherer tries to be clever with you and starts babbling about evolutionary "changes in type" or "macro evolution" just point out marine mammals like whales and seals. Proof positive that both of those [nonsense terms that they try to pass off as science] actually happened because nothing evolved air breathing lungs underwater!! 8D
Monkey Monk (5 days ago)
episode good, host, extra hot.
sfkeepay (5 days ago)
This science-based video starts by giving the finger to science. Stating an mere idea as though it were a fact is arrogant, dismissive, provocative, divisive, and above all, NOT scientific. This video says - with certainty - that the Blue Whale is the most massive animal ever to exist. But while that appears to be true, it's impossible to be certain. This may seem like no big deal, but this kind of sloppy communication is part of why public confidence in science, and expertise in general, has been eroding in the U.S. for decades. It's not a weakness to qualify your statements. If you take it on yourself to communicate science, THINK IT THROUGH. Blue Whales are thought to be the largest animals ever, but unless and until you can PROVE they are, STOP saying it like it's written in stone. People are smart enough to handle nuance, and they also remember all the occasions arrogant-sounding scientists made absolutist claims that turned out to be wrong. Stop being part of the problem!
Wolfsgeist (5 days ago)
But elephant seals, orcas and ancient whales like Basilosaurus are way bigger than these 500kg and are not filter feeders. How come?
Kha 'Zix (5 days ago)
Wait... what about Walrus? I want to know the secret of the walrus with a beret... also known as THE HYNEMAN
Rock Balancer (5 days ago)
i swear i heard "an S.R. Foxley production"
Timothy Pham (5 days ago)
Smart is sexy
OPrincessXJasmineO (5 days ago)
that valley girl accent... 🙉
Chareidos (5 days ago)
Blue Whale maybe not the biggest Animal ever :) Not sure, if this is gonna be confirmed, but it seems due to estimation, that the Blue Whale might being challenged by an Ichtyosaur to be the biggest Vertebrate ever in the Oceans. This still unnamed thing is compared to the known Shonisaurus, scaling the few bones, reaching a guessed length up to 26m. Blue Whale is about 25m. Beside the fact of being efficient, filter-feeding is also the best way to skip competition over prey. You just circumvent the whole food-chain and get directly to the first Row on the Buffet, eating small Krill (and maybe some PhytoPlankton as well?).
Nick Name (5 days ago)
Why do you keep tilting your head left and right consistently
Wolfie Magnet (5 days ago)
So, this is a weird comment for SciShow, but the way you did your hair in this video with the earring looks very good!
SolarMoth (5 days ago)
mmm yessss
The word “marine” gives them super powers.
Derpster (5 days ago)
I wish some mad scientist would manipulate some marine mammals DNA so they would grow extra appendages just to confuse them.
Brian Cole (5 days ago)
Terrifying. Definitely terrifying. Otters are bastards as they are. I giant otter would be unmanageably dangerous.
Henry-James Wolfson (5 days ago)
Why is every sentence she utters a question?
First Last (5 days ago)
Things tend to grow larger around her.
TheSpiikki (5 days ago)
So T H I C C
SaucerJess (5 days ago)
J Dubs C (5 days ago)
Why do land mammals whose names start with O have such big noses?
aggrocrow (5 days ago)
Otters are terrifying *now.*
Rodolphe Fouquet (5 days ago)
Otters' super dense fur might be a hack like filter feeding is a hack for whales. So their relative small size may not be "that" surprising.
Jakob (5 days ago)
Please move your lighting equipment. It is reflecting off in Olivias glasses, which is distracting from the content of the video. 😊

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