Trivia

Hard

Despite Their Massive Size, Which Of These Animals Only Lives A Few Years?

Blue Whales
Giant Tortoises
Great White Sharks
Giant Squids
A dramatization of an underwater encounter between a sperm whale and giant squid.
Mike Goren/Flickr

Answer: Giant Squids

The Earth is filled with examples of giant creatures that dwarf our small human frames. Almost universally, what these creatures have in common, besides their leviathan size, is long life spans. Tortoises are both enormous and can live for approximately 150-200 years, blue whales can live nearly eighty years, and some species of sharks can live for hundreds of years.

Given that it takes other species so long to grow to such enormous sizes, it’s particularly surprising to find that giant squids live a scant (estimated) five years or so. In their short lives, they go from being a speck of an egg to a potential maximum body length of 43 feet (13 meters) for females and 33 feet (10 meters) for males with a mass of around 606 pounds (275 kilograms) for females and 330 pounds (150 kilograms) for males.

Thankfully for the giant squid, an abundance of food in their natural habitat and only one known predator (the sperm whale) means the food and safety required to blast through such rapid growth spurts and achieve such a large size so quickly are readily available.

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