When Sally hatches she has two concerns - to eat and not to be eaten. She is at a distinct disadvantage because she is a weak swimmer and has to learn to feed in a very hostile environment. During the first week or so she hovers over the bottom near the egg bed making stabs at passing organisms by coiling her body and striking in a manner similar to the striking motion of a snake. Her prey are the tiny larval stages of small crustaceans called copepods; these copepods when they are juveniles and adults will be her principal prey throughout life. As the days go by she becomes more successful at catching her food but her reserve of yolk is rapidly being exhausted. Survival is a race to reach the point where she can support herself by capturing prey before she becomes too weak from lack of nourishment to hunt. Whether or not she survives depends a lot on chance, such as the concentration of prey within her reach. Many of her cohorts are unable to make this important transition, but Sally does and as she grows stronger she moves up in the water column and away from the egg bed.