A strange sight – Herring headstands?

If you were walking along a sandy beach and saw this, what would you think?

This is what a couple of friends of mine discovered some years ago.  After photographing this, they went closer and discovered the answer:

It seems that herring not only have a lot of vertebrate predators (including us!);  they also have some invertebrate predators.  Sea anemones are lazy carnivores.  However, having the ability to snare anything that nears them from any angle makes them effective predators of small fish that get too close.  It took the anemones longer than it took the tide to recede, to consume these herring.


Allison Albrecht photos