The bay anchovy is the most numerous fish in the estuaries of South Carolina. They are food to larger fish and to many birds. Anchovies are specialized to feed on plankton. They have a huge mouth and their gills are modified to extract the tiny planktonic organisms. They just open their mouths and swim, similar to the way baleen whales and basking sharks feed. Anchovies such as this one are often attacked by parasitic copepods, which attach to the body of the anchovy and trail off like skinny lollipops.