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Shark Week Profiles: Wobbegong Shark

August 15, 2012

Image source: Wikipedia

Species: Spotted Wobbegong Shark
Scientific name: Orectolobus maculatus
Length: 9-10 feet
Distribution: Shallow coasts of Australia
Aliases: Carpet shark

He’s so fluffy! And you gotta love that name. Say it with me. Wobbegong. Wobbegong. Wobbegong. It’s an aboriginal word that means “shaggy beard.” It uses that beard to entice and catch fish.

Unlike everything else in Australia, the spotted wobbegong does not want to kill you. Like all carpet sharks, wobbegong is actually pretty chill unless you provoke it. Oh, and it gets that carpet shark name from looking like an ornate carpet, as well as its habit of laying on the shallow ocean floor.

The spotted wobbegong is the largest of the wobbegong family, but the smaller species, such Ward’s wobbegong (30 inches) might look sweet in your home aquarium. Just keep in mind they’re nocturnal, don’t do much, and will eat their tankmates.


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