A wabba, wabba, what you say? You heard me, it’s a Wabbegong Shark! You would be forgiven for thinking it was a part of the seabed, an ocean floor carpet, if you will, so much so, this is another name for this interesting little fella’.
The Wobbegong Shark is a bottom dweller, covering the oceans beds like rugs, hence the name “Carpet Shark”. There are 12 different species of Carpet Shark, and they all prefer shallow, temperate waters, but one, the Japanese Wobbegong, which is found in the far Northern oceans of Japan.
Most Wobbegong Sharks grow to a max length of +/- 1 and ¼ meters, whereas the Spotted and Banded Wabbegongs can reach lengths of up to 3 meters! They are masters at camouflage, and lie in wait of their prey, which consists of smaller fish, that dare to swim too close.
The name “Wobbegong” is believed to come from the Aboriginal language, meaning bearded, and was given to these sharks because of the tentacle like whiskers around their jaws, which just adds to the “rug” appearance. Imagine accidentally standing on one of these? They are as dangerous as any wild animal / creature, to humans, but just think, it certainly would give new meaning to the phrase: “magic carpet ride.”
Till we meet again, keep that toothy grin!
By Nadine Bentley