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ANDY MURCH BIO

 

WHAT IS ELASMODIVER?

Not just Shark Pictures: Elasmodiver contains photos of sharks, skates, rays, and chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web based shark field guide to help divers find the best places to encounter the different species of sharks and rays that live in shallow water but it has slowly evolved into a much larger project containing information on all aspects of shark diving and shark photography.

There are now more than 10,000 shark pictures  and sections on shark evolution, biology, and conservation. There is a large library of reviewed shark books, a constantly updated shark taxonomy page, a monster list of shark links, and deeper in the site there are numerous articles and stories about shark encounters. Elasmodiver is now so difficult to check for updates, that new information and pictures are listed on an Elasmodiver Updates Page that can be accessed here:

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Shark picture - green sawfish

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TASSELED WOBBEGONG

Photographs copyright Andy Murch all rights reserved.

 View all available Tasseled Wobbegong Pictures in the Shark Pictures Database

Common Names: Tasseled wobbegong.

Latin Name: Eucrossorhinus dasypogon

Family: Orectolobidae  

Identification: Branching skin flaps run continuously from pectoral fins around front of head forming a lattice-like beard. Markings composed of an intricate pattern of light and dark dots and rings over a brown to beige background. Head and body very broad and flattened.

Size: Maximum length exceeds 3m.

Habitat:  Rocky and coral reefs. From 1 to 40m+. 

Abundance and distribution: Northern W.A. to Queensland and north into Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Behavior:  An ambush predator. Remains motionless blending with reef structure until small fishes swim within striking range. Then, rapidly opens mouth sucking in its prey.  Actively hunts at night for Bony fishes.  

Reproduction: Ovoviviparous.

Observations: I witnessed this species lying motionless in exactly the same spot for three consecutive days. Its reasonable that it did not move at all during this time relying on food swimming by. Its also possible that it simply returned to exactly the same position each day but it was also present during night dives.

Photographs: Exmouth Navy Pier, W.A. and Blizzard Ridge (reef), Exmouth, W.A.

Similar species: There are six described species and a few undescribed species of wobbegongs. Most can be distinguished by barbell configuration and markings. None have the intricate skin flaps dispayed by this species.

Reaction to divers: Remains at rest relying on camouflage unless harassed. Has been reported to have bitten divers that got too close to its mouth even when not disturbed. 

Diving logistics: In W.A., Exmouth Dive Centre can arrange day and night dives at the Navy Pier and 2 tank boat dives at blizzard ridge. The wobbegongs usually present at these sights. At the pier it may also be possible to see Wards wobbegongs, and Epaulette sharks but these are much more secretive burying themselves in caves during the day. There are probably countless other locations all the way to Queensland where Tasselled wobbies are resident.

Other diving locations submitted by readers

References and further reading:

Reef Sharks and Rays of the World. Scott W. Michael. Sea Challengers.

Sharks and Rays - Elasmobranch Guide of the World. Ralf M. Hennemann. IKAN.

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