So in honor of Shark Week 2016, lets take a look at the Wobbegong, the common name for the 12 species of carpet sharks in the Orectolobidae family. Orectolobidae is Greek for stretched-out lobe.
You can read my other shark posts here and here including shark dissection.
I decided to start out with the Wobbegong mostly because the name sounds like a Dr. Seuss book character. The name actually was given to the species by Australian Aborigines. In Australian the word Wobbegong translates into shaggy bearded (wobbies).
~There are 12 species of Wobbegongs, a.k.a. Carpet Sharks.
~Documentation dates this species of shark as far back as 100 years.
~The live in coral reefs, seagrass, and sandy bottoms of the ocean usually in the West Pacific Ocean (shallow waters around Indonesia and Australia for 11 of the Wobbegong species and you can find the Japanese Wobbegong (Orectolobus japonicus), obviously, around Japan.
~Their size ranges between 2 feet and 6 feet long. The record for largest Wobbegong is 10 feet with the smallest being 2.5 feet.
~They graze on octopus, crab, lobster, and fish.
~Wobbegongs easily blend in to their environment making meal time very easy for them which is a good thing because they are said to be extremely lazy. They have brownish or greenish skin, they are highly patterned, and they lay flat on the ocean's floor. Perfectly camouflaged.
~Wobbegongs give birth to pups (Ovoviviparous). Each litter consists of 20 pups. Total gestation period is between 10 months and 11 months. They are around 8 inches long at birth. The current record for most live births by a Wobbegong is 53 pups. After they are born, they are on their own. They stick together until they learn to find food on their own.
~Their lifespan is not exactly known.
~The status is near threatened due to habitat destruction.
~They are nocturnal. It is believed they have poor eyesight.
~Like the Great White, Wobbegongs breath by taking water in their mouths and pumping it through their gills. They have five gill slits.
~Rumor has it that Wobbegongs make good pets. Pet Wobbegongs only need to be fed twice a week but it has to be a live fish on a stick.
~Wobbegongs are caught for their meat, and their beautiful skin is used to make leather. BOO!