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Wobbygong shark Wobbygong shark
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Tasseled Wobbegong Shark (Eucrossorhinus dasypogon) - Reef Reality Episode 30

The video for this episode is coming soon!!

Tasseled Wobbegong Shark (Eucrossorhinus dasypogon) - Reef Reality Episode 30

Reef Reality Episode Voice Over

The tasseled wobbegong shark is a bottom dwelling carpet shark named after its distinctive lattice-like “beard” of branching skin flaps around the jaw area. The shark ambushes its prey by waiting motionless for it to come within striking range after being attracted close to the shark’s mouth by its beard, which appears as succulent morsels to squid, crabs and small fish.

Species Health (Vulnerability)

Listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. High to very high vulnerability.

Description

The tasselled wobbegong shark is a highly unusual looking carpet shark. Its mosaic markings of dark narrow lines and spots set against a yellowish-brown body make it a master of camouflage in sun-dappled coral. The scientific name for this shark translates to “'well fringed nose with shaggy beard”, which refers to the distinctive lattice-like “beard” of branching skin flaps around the jaw area. The tasselled wobbegong shark has a broad head and large, rounded pectoral fins.

Regions & Habitat

These sharks are found in the eastern Indian Ocean and the western-central Pacific Ocean, around Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia. They inhabit coral reefs and reef channels and are bottom dwellers. 

Feeding

The tasselled wobbegong shark is nocturnal, hunting its prey by ambush. Prey is attracted close to its mouth by its beard, which appears as succulent morsels. The shark waits motionless and camouflaged for squid, crabs and small fish to come within striking range before snatching its prey with lightning reflexes.

Biggest Threats

Overfishing – expanding fisheries.
Habitat destruction – pollution on coral reefs and dynamite fishing.

Resilience

Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years.

How to Help

1) Make ethical consumer choices when buying seafood, by consulting sustainable seafood advisory websites, for example Seafood Watch, the Marine Conservation Society's fishonline, the Marine Stewardship Council's scheme for consumer seafood products and the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

2) CLICK HERE for 40 Marine Conservation Tips - How YOU can Make a Difference!

Submitted by The Reef Reality Series on Feb 2, 2010