What The Heck Is A Wobbegong??

Meet the wobbegong.

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The wobbegong is the common name for a type of shark known as the “carpet shark”. Carpet sharks are a classification of 12 shark species within the family Orectolobidae. They can be found off the coast of Japan, Indonesia, and Australia, preferring warm and shallow waters.

Unless you are a fish, this shark is probably not too high on your fear list (you’d probably have to accidentally stand on it to get a bite). These sharks are not predators in the scary way people tend to think of sharks. Spending most of it’s time on the ocean floor lying in wait, wobbegongs hunt by ambushing their prey. This stationary behavior is why they are known as carpet sharks.

Camouflaging into the sand, wobbegongs are often the color of sand and rock. They have adapted to be masters of disguise and it works to their benefit. The frilly beard on the wobbegong’s mouth is a way to attract prey. They will eat whatever approaches and bristles their beard: bony fish, crabs, and octopus. They have strong jaws and teeth, perfectly capable of consuming fish larger than themselves!

Though wobbegongs are sometimes used in fish and chips (yes fish and chips are often many different types of fishes, but that is a story for another day), and small species are even kept as pets (not recommended), carpet sharks are a shark species that is not endangered. And thank goodness for that! Between one-fourth and one-third of shark species alive today are endangered, we do not need any more to be.

So now you know more about the wobbegong! Go forth and spread your newfound information with your friends.

Lily


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