The ocean is full of countless astonishing creatures and there’s a lot more that we’re yet to discover. If you’re interested in sharks, I’m sure that the tasseled wobbegong shark will take you by surprise. Sometimes identified as carpet sharks, these creatures have a truly unique and extraordinary appearance. Their characteristic flattened appearance and branched lobes extend from their heads. These interesting creatures were initially discovered in 1867. However, even today, we don’t know much about them.
The tasseled wobbegong is a carpet shark that goes by the scientific name of Eucrossorhinus dasypogon. It belongs to the family Orectolobidae and is its most specialized member. Its generally found in the shallow coral reefs off northern Australia, New Guinea, etc. These carpet sharks grow to a length of 1.8 meters, and their head and body takes a broad and flattened shape. The fringe of branching dermal flaps that surrounds their head is the most distinguishing feature of these one-of-a-kind creatures. This extends to their skin, making it possible for them to camouflage themselves against corals.
In the daytime, the tasseled wobbegongs can be spotted alone, lying under ledges or inside caves. They emerge and hunt for food at night. If the circumstances allow, humans too can become their prey. As claimed by reports, these carpet sharks hunt and prey on humans even when left undisturbed. However, most attacks were resulted from humans disturbing them by mistake.
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The mouths of these creatures have massive mouths. One case reports an incident where a 1-meter long bamboo shark was swallowed by a 1.3-meter long tasseled wobbegong. Although these creatures are more active during the night, they may carry out hidden attacks on schooling nocturnal fish during the day. Sometimes, crustaceans and tiny fish may settle on the heads of these carpet sharks, attracting much bigger fish that later becomes the prey of the tasseled wobbegong.
Another special behavioral pattern of these creatures is that they display active luring behavior. When they spot prey in their surroundings, they start waving their tails slowly. When they do this, their caudal fin appears like a small fish. The dark eyespot at the base completes this look. When resting, they usually keep their head in an elevated position, within a short distance from any prey that’s drawn by the tail.
The tasseled wobbegong serves as an ecotourism attraction as well. Although some divers were able to approach them without any alarming incidents, it’s best to be cautious around them. So, what are your thoughts about these extraordinary creatures? Let us know in the comments!