Wobbegongs are a group of 12 species known as Carpet Sharks. This particular one pictured is the Tasselled Wobbegong (Eucrossorhinus dasypogon), that lives in the shallow reefs around Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea regions.

Its complex body colour makes it excellent at camouflage, and its flattened profile means it hides in the reefs very well. This particular species can grow to 1.8m (nearly six feet) long. The distinctive fringe around the head is characteristic of all Wobbegongs, as are the strong jaws and sharp teeth. These sharks prefer to dine on fishes, crustaceans, cephalopods, and sometimes even other sharks. They are not considered dangerous to humans but have been known to bite if provoked or feel threatened.

From WeLoveSharks.club, “The word “wobbegong” has its origin from an Australian Aboriginal language, and it means “shaggy beard.” Apparently this refers to the fringe of dermal flaps (barbles) around its head and chin.”  It is a fun word to say; bet you’ve already tried saying it 5 times fast by now.

These sharks are not generally fished commercially and are sometimes caught as by-catch. Their greater threat is loss of habitat, and because of the the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed this species as Near Threatened, outside of Australia.

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