The tasselled wobbegong is a bottom-dwelling carpet shark with a wide, flat body and head. It virtually disappears against the ocean floor, thanks to camouflage of dark lines and splotches against a pale background, and fringe-like lobes along its head.
During the day, wobbegongs tend to hide under reef ledges. They come out at night and perch on the reef to hunt. The shark will lunge up to suck in its prey, clamping down with its large jaws and fang-like teeth without letting go.
Due to the bottom-dwelling habit of this species, the tasselled wobbegong at the National Aquarium is individually fed by divers.
Learn more about the tasselled wobbegong! Did you know that female tasselled wobbegongs keep eggs inside their bodies until they hatch? They then give birth to live pups.
This species is found in the tropical waters of the Indo Pacific Ocean off Indonesia, Australia and New Guinea. They prefer shallow habitats near coral reefs and can be found at maximum depths of approximately 130 feet.
Wobbegongs eat bottom-dwelling fishes and invertebrates like small octopuses or crabs and lobsters.
A typical maximum size for this species is 4 feet.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species lists tasselled wobbegongs as a species of least concern.
Larger fishes, sharks and marine mammals will eat tasselled wobbegongs.
The National Aquarium—and the aquatic world—is full of amazing animals like this one.