In my fantasy world, Mainspring, the top of the oceans' food chain is the maculatum, a species of giant eel which originated on another plane/dimension. Maculatum reproduce asexually and wthout any intention: they constantly excrete an oily fluid slightly heavier than water which, upon pooling on the seafloor in sufficient quantity, congeals into something like an egg. When the egg hatches, several three-inch-long maculatum emerge and immediately begins hunting smaller creatures (and each other). The primary drive of a maculatum is its constant hunger, as it gets 10% longer and thicker every week, compounding indefinitely until the square-cube-law or its own caloric needs crush it into ineffectiveness and, eventually, death.
My question is what the general upper limit for size would be on one of these oily eels given that constant growth, and whether it would typically be starvation or collapse that killed them first.
Other information that may be relevant:
- Despite their biology being alien to Mainspring, maculatum get energy from their prey at the same rate a mundane eel would.
- Aside from some exceptions notable enough to have personal names instead of species names, the largest creatures in the oceans are whales and giant squid (and possibly maculatum).
- The materials of the maculatum's body have the same relative strength as that of a moray eel, and they employ the same hunting methods.
- When a maculatum dies its body denatures into the same oily fluid it is always excreting (edit: @datacube mentioned that having it nutrientless would lead to total ecosystem collapse).
- The oily fluid tastes bad but is highly nutritious, and is therefore favored by scavengers, who will occasionally hunt young or adolescent maculatum.
- The only humanoids who tend to mess with maculatum are merfolk who harvest the oily fluid for its use as a memory-enhancing drug.