How Big Are The Biggest Squid, Whales, Sharks, Jellyfish?

January 13, 2015 10:07 PM

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A few years ago, Carl Zimmer and I ran a workshop on science writing, where we talked, among other things, about explaining science without talking down to your audience. It apparently left an impression on Craig McClain, a marine biologist and blogger who was in the audience. “I made a comment about how I always wanted to write a post on how giant squid sizes are bullsh*t,” he recalls,” but that those always come off as an arrogant scientist telling the world that it’s wrong. And you said: You should write it, but you just need to find the right tone. That kicked me off.”

Rather than an angry blog post, McClain decided to put together a scientific paper that would accurately answer a simple yet slippery question: How big do the biggest animals in the ocean get?

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