Wobbegong

Wobbegong Introduction

Wobbegongs are bottom dwellers, spending their days resting and swimming near the ocean bottom. Their skins feature a symmetrical pattern that helps them blend into their surroundings. They’re sometimes called “carpet sharks” because they seem to become part of the ocean floor.

With their flat, wide bodies, protruding eyeballs, and mottled skin, wobbegongs don’t look like typical sharks. They don’t act like most sharks either. They tend to be slow and quiet, rather than fast and aggressive.

Wobbegongs are ambush predators, which means they quietly hide, waiting for small fish to swim by. They are not generally dangerous to humans, although they have attacked swimmers, surfers, and scuba divers off the coasts of Australia. The wobbegongs have many small, sharp teeth and sometimes hang onto their prey. They can bite through a wetsuit. No fatalities have been reported.

As you have just learned, wobbegong sharks are known for their interesting skin patterns and their habit of lurking on the ocean floor.

Keywords to Learn

Nocturnal: an animal that hunts and eats at night, sleeping during the day


About Me:

Hey Kids, my name is Whitney the spotted wobbegong shark and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @ www.australiangeographic.com.au

 

 

Wobbegong Data

  • Order:
    Orectolobiformes.
  • Lifespan:
    Unknown; believed to be 20 years or more
  • Class:
    Orectolobidae.
  • Scientific Name:
    Sphyrnidae.
  • Mass:
    Varies widely depending on species
  • Length:
    1.25 m (4.1 ft.) to 3 m (9.8 ft.)
  • Region found:
    Pacific and Indian Oceans, near Australia, Indonesia, and Japan
  • Population Status:
    Least Concern.
  • Current population trend:
    Stable.
  • Diet:
    Carnivore.
  • Sexual maturity:
    Unknown.

 

This bottom dwelling creature as not only beautiful, but is also fascinating. While this ocean creature is in fact a shark, it is not a typical scary type shark, as for one, it does not come near the ocean surface, and also this type of shark is not dangerous to humans.

 

Now that you know more about the Wobbegong shark by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.

 

Download questions about the Wobbegong shark here: Wobbegong (answers are on this page)

 

Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on the Wobbegong shark. Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets

Fun Facts for Kids

# 1. The name Wobbegong is believed to come from an Australian Aboriginal word that means “shaggy beard.” The name refers to the growths around the shark’s mouth.

 

# 2. Wobbegongs eat crustaceans like crabs and lobsters, as well as fish and other sharks. They’re nocturnal hunters, feeding during the night and sleeping during the day.

 

# 3. Wobbegongs give birth to as many as 37 live pups. Pregnancy lasts 10 months and these sharks can give birth only once every three years.

 

# 4. These sharks have fleshy little growths protruding near their mouths. The growths look like bits of plants and attract fish, who sometimes nibble at them before being eaten by the sharks.

 

# 5.There are twelve known species of Wobbegong shark.

Q&A Corner

# 1. How are Wobbegong sharks similar to other sharks? How do they differ?

 

# 2. What does Wobbegong mean?

 

# 3. What do Wobbegong sharks eat?

 

# 4. Are Wobbegong sharks endangered?

 

# 5. Are Wobbegong sharks dangerous to humans?

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