The ornate wobbegong (Orectolobus ornatus) is in the Orectolobidae family, found primarily in the western Pacific Ocean. These sharks can be seen around Australia, ranging from Port Douglas in North Queensland to Sydney; to better educate the public about these carpet sharks, a few of them star in SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium's exhibits.
Ornate wobbegongs can reach lengths of up to 1.17 m (3.8 ft). Called ornate because of their unique pattern in top of their golden-coloured body (dark patches that are outlined in black on the dorsal side, with light spots within said broad bands). Like other wobbegongs, they have fleshy barbels protruding from their snout, while other seaweed-looking projections, called dermal lobes, also decorate around their mouth. These barbels are used as lures to attract prey, allowing wobbegongs to lie in wait for a meal; smaller prey are swallowed whole. Given their camouflage, they prefer weedy, rocky bottoms and reefs up to 100 m deep.
These sharks are viviparous with yolk-sac, and pups are born after their 11 month gestation period (although it can be up to 18 months). The IUCN has classified them as Least Concern (LC). Their biggest threat is caught as bycatch.
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