Are there worms that eat whales?



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    Because of their enormous size and power, members of the larger whale species have few non-human predators they have to worry about.  That doesn’t mean, however, that no sea creatures feed on whales regularly; like most other large animals in the wild, a typical whale supports a variety of parasites on and in its body.  “Whale lice,” for instance, cling to the outside of a whale’s body where they feed on even smaller organisms clinging to the whale, and sometimes on the whale’s skin as well.  Tapeworms are another group of parasites that trouble many whales – so there truly are worms that can be said to feed on the largest animals on Earth.  Whale-feeding tapeworms come in a variety of sizes – but the largest, curled up in the intestine of a giant whale, may reach a length of as much as 100 feet.

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