Types of Sharks
Wobbegong Shark: The Ambush King
While the 12 species of wobbegong vary in length -- ranging between 2.5 and 9.5 feet -- these "carpet sharks" all blend in seamlessly with the ocean floor, hidden from predators and prey alike.
Wobbegong Sharks By the Numbers
Number of Species
Largest Reported Litter
How to Spot A Wobbegong
The wobbegong shark blends in seamlessly with the ocean floor, hidden from predators and prey alike. Tap or click on hotspots for more information. Explore the Wobbegong Shark
Did You Know?
The Wobbegong Is King of the Ambush
True to its nickname of carpet shark, the wobbegong spends most of its time on the ocean floor. This nocturnal hunter will often lie still, waiting for prey to swim too close, attracted to the tentacles around the shark’s mouth that act as lures. Sometimes the wobbegong will also slowly wave its tail, mimicking a fish, which attracts other fish.
Once its target -- which includes crabs, lobsters, and octopi as well as bony fish such as sea bass -- gets close, the wobbegong will strike, clamping down with its wide, powerful jaws, in some cases even using suction to pull its dinner in. Other times divers have observed the wobbegong slowly sneaking up on its prey from a distance.
Either way, once something is in a wobbegong’s mouth, it’s game over. Because of its large jaws, a wobbegong can swallow prey almost as big as itself. But if the prey is too large to swallow, the shark will hold it in its teeth until it dies, and then eat it in chunks.