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Animals

Kidadl Team

AUGUST 27, 2021

19 Tasselled Wobbegong Facts You’ll Never Forget

Tasselled wobbegong facts, also known as carpet sharks, are amusing.

The tasseled wobbegong (Eucrossorhinus dasypogo) is a type of carpet shark from the kingdom Animalia, class Chondrichthyes, order Orectolobiformes, family Orectolobidae, genus Eucrossorhinus. This species of carpet shark is the only type in its genus. Tasseled wobbegongs are ambush predators who prey on schools of fishes and can attack humans unprovoked.

They have a unique appearance with a large head and mouth and flattened bodies. They have very sharp fang-like teeth in both the upper and lower jaw. A distinctive feature is their fringe of dermal lobes which stretch out in branches and like skin flaps around the head. They have patterns on their bodies consisting of dark lines on gray or brown backgrounds.

Tasseled wobbegongs can reach a length of 4 ft (121 cm). Their coloration camouflages them which helps them while in the search of prey for feeding at night. The habitat of the tasseled wobbegong shark is found on the ocean floor and coral reefs. They feed on small marine bottom-dwelling fishes like squirrelfish, soldierfish, and other invertebrates. They are commonly found in the regions of Northern Australia, the Southwest Pacific Ocean off Indonesia, and New Guinea.

You may also check out the fact files on the leopard shark and blacktip reef shark from Kidadl.

Tasselled Wobbegong Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a tasselled wobbegong?

The tasselled wobbegong shark is a species of carpet shark (not fish) commonly found in the ocean floor off the Pacific or shallow coral reefs. There are 12 types of wobbegong fish, and the tasselled is one of them. Out of the species of wobbegongs, the tasselled is the only species within the genus Eucrossorhinus.

What class of animal does a tasselled wobbegong belong to?

The tasselled wobbegong (Eucrossorhinus Dasypogon) is a type of carpet shark from kingdom Animalia, class Chondrichthyes, order Orectolobiformes, family Orectolobidae, genus Eucrossorhinus.

How many tasselled wobbegongs are there in the world?

Tasselled wobbegong fishes are spread across many parts of the world. They are currently classified under the IUCN Red List conservation status as Least Concern. According to International Union for Conservation of Nature, this species has been listed as Near Threatened in the past. This is because of fisheries and increasing degradation of the marine habitat.

Where does a tasselled wobbegong live?

The carpet shark species of tasselled wobbegong is found on the ocean floor and near coral reefs in the regions of Northern Australia, the Southwest Pacific Ocean off Indonesia, and New Guinea.

What is a tasselled wobbegong's habitat?

The habitat of tasselled wobbegongs can be found in shorelines along the ocean floor and shallow coral reefs of Northern Australia, the Southwest Pacific Ocean off Indonesia, and New Guinea. They are a bottom-dwelling species in both inshore and offshore waters from intertidal zones to about 160 ft (48.7 m) in depth. They are most common in reef channels and on top of coral heads.

Who do tasselled wobbegongs live with?

The tasselled wobbegong (Eucrossorhinus dasypogon) is a solitary species. It spends most of the day motionless inside caves and under ledges, becoming active only at night for feeding in search of food.

How long does a tasselled wobbegong live?

There is not much information available about the tasselled wobbegong species. There are records of some other species of wobbegong fishes living up to 26 years.

How do they reproduce?

There is limited information available about this species but there are reports of mating occurring inside caves at night. Tasselled wobbegongs are aplacental viviparous or ovoviviparous, meaning eggs develop inside the mother’s body. The fertilization of the eggs happens internally. The young get the nourishment they need to grow from inside the womb. Once the young are developed, during the birth the pups are born fully formed. Newborns are about 7.9 in (20 cm) in length.

What is their conservation status?

 The conservation status of tasselled wobbegongs is currently under the IUCN conservation status of Least Concern. However, there are reports from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, that this species has been listed as Near Threatened. This is because of fisheries and the increasing degradation of habitat. Other threats to this shark species are pollution, coral reef removals, and blast fishing. 

Tasselled Wobbegong Fun Facts

What do tasselled wobbegongs look like?

Tasselled wobbegong sharks are bottom-dwelling carpet sharks with flattened bodies and large heads. Their distinctive feature is the fringe of dermal lobes which are like skin flaps on their heads. These dermal lobes extend from their snout to the pectoral fins. Their eyes have large spiracles and their nostrils have long branching barbels.

 The mouth is in front of the eyes near the end of the head. There are like teeth furrows on their lower jaw starting from the corner of their mouths. They have about teeth in the range of 23-26 on the upper jaw, and about 19 on the lower jaw. Their teeth are very long and fang-like.

 They have round pelvic and pectoral fins which are huge. They also have other fins such as the anal fins and caudal fins. This species has spotted bodies that consist of dark lines against the gray or brown background. These patterns extend all over, including the tail and the pectoral and pelvic fins. They are known to reach a length of almost 4 ft (1.2 m). They have a coloration that provides excellent camouflage abilities which helps them hunt for food.

Tasselled wobbegongs are very lazy.

How cute are they?

Tasselled wobbegongs have a very distinctive appearance with flattened bodies, large heads, dark lines and patterns. They cannot be called a cute species but they are very interesting to look at.

How do they communicate?

The tasselled wobbegong is a solitary species. They spend the majority of time in caves and ledges sitting motionless, or in search of prey for feeding at night in the dark. Therefore, not much is known about this fish's communication with other wobbegongs.

How big is a tasselled wobbegong?

Tasselled wobbegongs can reach up to the range of 4 ft (1.2 m) in length. Their length is comparable to other species of wobbegongs.

How fast can a tasselled wobbegong swim?

The tasselled wobbegong shark is a slower swimmer than some of the other species of wobbegong sharks. Their hunting technique is to camouflage themselves and sit motionless, awaiting prey to approach them. Once the prey is near, they attack them. Because of this, they do not need to swim very far or fast.

How much does a tasselled wobbegong weigh?

Wobbegong sharks as a species can be in the range of 154 lb (70 kg) in weight. There are no definitive statistics indicating the weight of the tasselled wobbegong.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for the male and female fishes of this species. 

What would you call a baby tasselled wobbegong?

Babies or young tasselled wobbegongs are called pups.

What do they eat?

Tasselled wobbegongs are ambush predators. They eat bottom dwelling and coral reef fishes, invertebrates, crustaceans, and cephalopods. They have a large mouth that can eat sizeable prey. They generally prey on nocturnal schools of fishes like squirrelfish, soldierfish, and other small invertebrates.

Are they dangerous?

The tasselled wobbegong species can be dangerous. They are ambush predators by nature. There are also records of unprovoked attacks on human beings which have also lead to deaths. They attack when they feel under threat.

Would they make a good pet?

Tasselled wobbegongs are naturally wild but they can also be bred in captivity in an aquarium. They are occasionally found in the sale of home aquariums. If you want to keep these sharks in your aquarium, you should be careful while handling them.

Did you know...

In Australia, the flesh of wobbegongs and other sharks is called flake. They are sold as fish in the dish fish and chips.

Sharks do not sleep the way that humans do but they have resting and active periods.

Some species of shark are born alive while others enter the world through the process of egg-laying.

They are also occasionally hunted for their skin to make leather from it.

Some other fun shark species include the gentle nurse sharks, whale sharks, and the goblin shark.

Are wobbegong sharks endangered? 

While the wobbegong sharks species are categorized under conservation status Least Concern, there is a cause for concern. There are reports from the International Union for Conservation of Nature that this species has been listed as Near Threatened. This is because of fisheries and the increasing degradation of habitat. Other threats to this species are environmental pollution, coral reef removals, and blast fishing.

Do wobbegong sharks lay eggs? 

These sharks are aplacental viviparous or ovoviviparous which means eggs develop inside the mother’s body. The eggs fertilize inside the body of the mother. The eggs get nourishment from the mother and fully grow inside the mother’s body.

Upon birth, tasselled wobbegong pups are in the range of 7-8 in (17.7-20.3 cm) in length. This is a different reproductive process compared to some other species of fish that lay eggs outside of the mother’s body.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our goblin shark facts and lungfish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable basking shark coloring pages.

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