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“A not so safe Magic Carpet Ride”


The Wobbegong Carpet sharks (Order: Orectolobiforms) are giant bottom dwelling sharks.   They have two dorsal fins (without the presence of spines).  Some are known to have barbels, and reduced gill slits.  Due to their bottom dwelling, the lower lobe of their caudal fin is highly reduced (to prevent from dragging along the seafloor).  Carpet sharks have been known to get up to 3 metres in length (though sharks generally do not have determinant growth).

 

These ancient creatures are known as Carpet sharks due to their highly developed camouflage patterns allowing them to blend in with the seafloor, as well as weed-like whiskers lobes that surround the jaws, almost like the tassels of a carpet.  These whisker like lobes are also used to entice small fish, which leads us to the Carpet sharks diet!

These amazing creatures have a huge variety in diet.  They generally have been found to prey on small fish, as they have an ambush-like predation type due to their camouflage abilities.  It has recently been discovered, though, that their diet is not limited to small fish.  In fact, it has been recorded that a Carpet shark off the coat of Australia, a Carpet shark was found swallowing a Bamboo shark whole.  Bamboo sharks can grow to the same size as these Carpet sharks, though this one was clearly not up to par with its consumer.  Such sublime creatures in this world!

But don’t worry, these sharks are generally not dangerous to humans, unless you decide to go for a “magic carpet ride”, in which the shark might feel slightly threatened…hint hint.  They are very flexible sharks, having the ability to reach their mouths all the way to their tails!  They do not possess teeth like that of the Great White sharks, but they do have small sharp teeth that are indeed worse than their bark!!! Check em’ out!!

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