Spotted Wobbegong shark – Georgia Aquarium
The spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus) is a large fish found around southern Australia and New Zealand. They are usually seen near the ocean floor where there is good visibility. This species lives among seaweed, rocks, and rubble, hiding during the day. At night, it hunts small crustaceans such as shrimp, crabs, and krill. Spotted wobbegongs grow up to 10.5 feet long (3.2 meters). Their diet includes crustaceans and bony fishes.
The name “wobbegong” is derived from the Aboriginal language spoken by the indigenous people living around Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia. This language is very similar to the local dialect of the nearby Gumbayngirr people. In fact, it is thought that the word “wobbegongs” is actually a corruption of the aboriginal term “Gumbayngi”.
As a result of colonisation, many Australian animals were introduced into the area including the common brushtail possum, the red kangaroo, the European rabbit, and the European catfish. These species are now naturalized throughout much of southern coastal NSW, as well as some parts of Queensland.
In 1803, George Bass explored the coast of what is now known as Port Stephens and named the bay after his ship, HMS Wombat. A survey vessel called HM Bark Endeavour visited the area in 1797 and recorded the presence of large fish in the waters off the mouth of the river.
A small number of specimens of this fish were caught during this expedition. However, no one had ever seen a live specimen of the fish. As a result, it became known locally as the Port Stephens shark.
In the early 1900s, there was a great deal of interest in the discovery of large predatory sharks in the region. At this time, the most popular theory about the existence of the Port Stephens shark was that it was a type of tiger shark.
This idea was based on the fact that the teeth of the Port Stephens shark closely resembled those of the tiger shark. Furthermore, the dorsal fin of the Port Stephens shark looked like that of the tiger shark.
However, later research showed that the Port Stephens shark was quite different from the tiger shark. For example, the Port Stephens shark had fewer vertebrae than the tiger shark. Also, the Port Stephens shark did not have a long snout. Instead, it had a rounded head and short snout. Finally, the Port Stephens shark lacked claspers.
Spotted wobbegongs are generally smaller than great white sharks, though some species grow up to ten feet long. They usually weigh less than half a ton, and females tend to be slightly larger than males. Their bodies are streamlined, with a flat dorsal fin running along the spine. Most species have three pairs of gill slits, although the third pair is often partially fused together. A dorsal fin runs down the center of the back, while a single anal fin lies near the tail. Some species have small teeth, others have none; most have rows of sharp, pointed teeth that curve outward.
The spotted wobbegong is one of the few fish species known to eat octopus. They use their specially adapted jaws to crush the soft flesh of the octopuses’ arms. This allows them to swallow the prey whole without having to chew it.
Wobbegongs are elongate sharks, typically having short snouts and long tails. They grow up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) in total length. Their bodies are covered with large scales, giving them a rough appearance. The skin is thickened into ridges along the sides and behind the head, forming a protective armor. This armor consists of three layers; the outermost layer is composed of bony plates called osteoderms, while the middle layer is formed by overlapping rows of smaller bony plates. The innermost layer is composed of soft tissue.
The body of the shark is divided into four sections. These include the dorsal fin, pectoral fins, pelvic fins, and tail fin. The dorsal fin is located near the front end of the shark, directly above the eyes. The pectorals are paired fins found just behind the gills. There are five pairs of pelvic fins. The caudal peduncle is the part of the body between the pectoral fins and the tail fin. The shape of the caudal peduncle varies greatly among different species. In some species, such as the wobbegong, there is no caudal peduncle at all.
Interaction with humans
Wobbegongs are large fish found in tropical waters around Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. They are usually solitary creatures, although some species live in groups called schools. Their diet consists mainly of invertebrates such as worms, shrimp, crabs and molluscs.
They are harmless to humans, and attacks on people are rare. However, they do attack swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers who accidentally come close to them. In one case reported in 2009, a man had his arm bitten off by a wobbly while he was swimming near it. Another report states that a diver was killed by a wobbly in 2005.
The venomous nature of the fish has led to the use of wobblys’ skins for making leather products.
The spotted wobbegong, known for its aggressive nature, is one of the most dangerous sharks in Australia. While there are many different types of sharks out there, this particular type of shark is notorious for being aggressive towards humans. There are even stories of people getting bitten without provocation. In fact, there have been over 30 documented cases of humans getting bitten by this shark, according to The International Shark Attack Files.
There are several reasons why people are attacked by a wobbegong. One reason is because the shark mistakes human limbs for fish. Another reason is because the shark feels threatened and tries to defend itself. If you do find yourself in danger from a wobbegong, here are some tips to help avoid injury.
1. Don’t approach a wobbegong unless you know what you’re doing.
2. Wear thick waders and boots, and make sure your feet are covered.
3. Make sure you don’t wear jewelry, especially rings.
4. Avoid swimming alone.
5. When possible, use a boat rather than swimming near the shore.
Diet / Feeding
The diet of a wobbing shark consists mainly of small fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, and squid. Sharks are opportunistic predators, feeding on whatever prey items come into their path. They use their long snouts to probe the water surface for food. Their eyesight is poor compared to most vertebrate animals, and they rely on smell and taste to locate potential meals. Most sharks hunt alone or in pairs. When hunting, they swim slowly along the sea floor, often following schools of fish. While swimming, they turn their heads side to side to scan for prey. Once a shark spots something worth eating, it uses its powerful jaws to crush and swallow the prey whole. Sharks do not chew their food; rather, they swallow large pieces of flesh whole.
Sharks can open their mouths very wide, allowing them to consume prey much larger than themselves. For example, the great white shark can eat a seal weighing up to 2,000 pounds. However, some species of sharks cannot open their mouth as widely as others because of their jaw anatomy. In addition, sharks must keep their mouths closed while cruising near the ocean floor. This prevents sand and sediment from entering the throat and lungs.
When a shark does bite down on a piece of food, it usually swallows it immediately. Some sharks, however, such as the nurse shark, will hold onto their prey for later consumption. This allows them to continue moving forward without expending energy chewing.
A few sharks are known to regurgitate partially digested food. This helps them conserve energy, since they do not need to digest food completely before swallowing it again. Regurgitation is common among many marine mammals, including whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, walruses, manatees, and dugongs.
Maximum Swimming Speed
The wobbegong shark is one of the fastest sharks in the world, reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour (64 km/h). However, it has been observed that its maximum swimming speed is much lower than that; a study published in 2011 found that wobbegongs move at about 20 mph (32 kph), while another study suggested that they reach 25 mph (40 km/h). This is still faster than most fish species, including tuna and swordfish.
The tasselled wobbegsong is one of Australia’s most iconic marine creatures. They are found along coastal waters around southern Queensland, and are often seen near rocky reefs. Their name derives from the distinctive pattern of white spots on their greyish skin. These spots look similar to the stripes of a zebra, hence the common nickname “wobbegongs”.
There aren’t many specifics known about the life expectancy of the tasselled wobbly. In fact, there’s very little data collected on the species. But it’s safe to say that, given their abundance, they’re likely to live longer than many other shark species.
Sharks are typically classified into three groups based on size: small, medium and large. Small sharks include lemon sharks, nurse sharks and sandbar sharks. Medium-sized sharks include tiger sharks, bull sharks and great whites. Large sharks include whale sharks, basking sharks and megamouth sharks.
Whale sharks are the largest fish alive today. They grow up to 40 metres in length and weigh over 20 tonnes. They spend their entire adult life feeding on plankton off the coast of tropical oceans.
Basking sharks are second only to whale sharks in terms of size. They reach lengths of up to 15 metres and weigh up to 2 tonnes. Like whale sharks, they feed exclusively on tiny organisms called phytoplankton.
Basking sharks are closely related to bony fishes and are part of the group called chimaeras. Chimaeras are characterised by having both gill slits and a dorsal fin. Basking sharks are usually dark brown in colour, although some individuals exhibit bright yellow markings.
Megamouth sharks are another member of the chimaera family. They have been described as looking like giant piranhas because of their large mouths filled with rows of razor sharp teeth. Megamouth sharks are generally smaller than basking sharks, measuring 10 to 12 metres in length and weighing less than 200 kilograms. They tend to prefer shallow water habitats and feed primarily on crabs, shrimp and molluscs.
The 12 species of wobbegon sharks differ in size and coloration. They are found in tropical waters worldwide and range in length from 0.6 to 2.9 meters. A tasselled wobbegongs reach up to 1.8 metres (5.9 feet), making it one of the largest wobbegong sharks.
Reproduction & Growth
The vaquita porpoise lives in small groups called “pods.” Pods make up the largest population of vaquitas found anywhere else in the world. They live in coastal waters off Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.
Vaquitas reproduce every three years. A single pregnant female gives birth to one pup every two months. She usually delivers her offspring while she swims near land, where she rests on the surface. After giving birth, she dives again to feed and rest.
In total, there are about 3,500 vaquitas left. Their numbers continue to decline due to illegal fishing practices. In addition to being poached for meat, the vaquita is caught in gillnets set for shrimp and fish. These nets trap the vaquita along with hundreds of other marine animals like sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, sharks, rays, and birds.
Spotted wobbegongs are native to the western pacific ocean around Australia (Kyne, R. A., & Williams, S. J. N. (2005). Australian Marine Life Studies 2004: Wobbegong sharks (Carcharhinidae): distribution, biology and fisheries implications. Canberra: CSIRO Publishing). They typically inhabit shallow waters near coral reefs and seagrass beds, where they feed primarily on small bony fish such as sardines and anchovies. In addition to being highly prized by local fishermen, spotted wobbegongs are popular aquarium fishes due to their docile nature and colorful appearance. Records of the species in Japan and the South China Sea likely represent misidentifications (Last & Stevens, 1994; Compagno, 2001), although it is possible that some specimens collected in the Philippines and Taiwan could be true spotty wobs.
The Australian dusky skink (Tiliqua nigrolutea) is a small lizard found throughout coastal areas of southeastern Australia. This species is listed as “Vulnerable” under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. In addition to being threatened by habitat loss and degradation due to urbanization, it is also preyed upon by introduced predators such as cats and foxes.