Did you know sea anenomes eat sea birds?
Marine biologists discovered a giant green sea anenome last year at the base of Haystock Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon that had bit off a little more than it could chew. The sea anemome had swallowed a cormorant chick much bigger than its own body.
Details of the bizarre encounter were published in study by marine ornithology.org.
“It is uncommon for marine invertebrates to prey on seabirds, with octopi being the exception,” wrote the study’s authors.
The study mentioned another 2003 instance when an anemone swelled a gull, leaving only its feet exposed.
This sea anenome didn’t get that far.
MORE WIERD SEA CREATURES: Scientists are puzzling over a bizarre fish that washed ashore a South African beach.
Biologists don’t know whether the unlucky cormorant chick was dead or alive when the sea anenome gobbled it up. They think the cormorant was either dropped by a predator bird like a bald eagle, or fell out of its nest.
Whatever the reason, it was quite a meal for a sea anenome.
Sea anenomes look like plants, but they are really predatory animals. They have tube-shaped bodies and suction-cup like mouths and butts. Sea anenomes use their neurotoxic venom to neutralize prey like small fish and shrimp. Birds are typically not on the menu. But hey, how much do we really know about what goes on in the ocean?
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen on a beach?
Featured image via marineornitholohy.org/LBHabecker