Shark Boy and Melissa are in the middle of decorating their apartment in Wellington as newlyweds, and one of the major things discussed? Carpet.
Which somehow leads us into talking about this week’s shark… well, sharks.
Guys, meet the carpet sharks in the Orectolobiformes order, so named because they, ta-dah, resemble carpets. Sound familiar? This is the same explanation about wobbegong sharks! They’re the same thing.
This is a small order with forty three species—some that may be familiar to you! We’ve got the blind shark, the nurse shark, the bamboo shark, wobbegong sharks, whale sharks and zebra sharks — just to name a few!
Today we’re talking about the cobbler wobbegong, Sutorectus tentaculatus -- the only member of their genus, Sutorectus. Also known as the Cobbler carpet shark, it’s found in subtropical eastern Indian Ocean, and commonly seen around Western Australia, amongst rocky and coral reef habitat. They don’t get really big, only getting up to 0.92 meters (about 3.02 feet).
Their coloration is unique, with dark saddles that are framed by lighter patches and brown/black spots. They have nasal barbels that are thin and unbranched, although they do have tubercles along their head and mouth. Their upper jaw has two rows and teeth, and the bottom jaw has three rows… all razor sharp.
The better to bite you with, my dear.
Well, not you, reader, unless you
accidentally step on them. I was actually talking about their prey which probably constitutes of benthic invertebrates and bony fishes.
They tend to remain motionless during the day, usually hidden until they can ambush attack. I mean, that’s the life. Let the food come to you. Makes me miss the days of mum and dad cooking and yelling, “Dinner’s ready!” Same thing, right?
So how do you tell all the wobbegongs apart? Kind of hard to, unless you’re looking really hard at barbell markings. The tubercles on the Cobbler wobbegong's back can tell it apart from others… but, I mean, who really looks at that?
They are presumed to be viviparous with yolk-sac, and they are listed as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN, as they seem to not have any significant threats.
which is your favorite wobbegong shark?
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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