Orectolobiformes, more commonly known as carpet sharks, are a family of sharks made up of an extremely diverse variety of species.
They come in many shapes and sizes, and have different habitats, diets, and physical characteristics.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about carpet sharks.
What Makes the Carpet Shark Interesting?
Carpet sharks are identifiable by their two dorsal fins and short mouth. They also have a spiracle below each eye for breathing.
All carpet sharks have this feature in various sizes, with the exception of the whale shark.
Whale sharks have a distinctive spiracle behind their eyes instead of below them.
As well as the dorsal fins, carpets sharks also have a tail, or caudal fin, with a developed upper lobe in line with its body, and a lower lobe that is less developed.
Again, the whale shark is an exception with its well-developed lower lobe.
Where Do Carpet Sharks Live?
Carpet sharks are only found in saltwater environments, primarily the ocean, but are also found in a number of seas.
They are acclimated to tropical temperatures and swim relatively deep in the water. They are most commonly found in the Indo-West Pacific waters.
How Big Is A Carpet Shark?
Due to carpet sharks’ huge diversity, it is difficult to provide an average size.
The smallest species of carpet shark is the barbelthroat carpet shark, which measures around 30 centimeters in length.
However, this is based on the one and only specimen ever caught. The largest known carpet shark is the whale shark, which is also the largest fish in the sea.
Measuring at least 14 meters long, while the whale shark is huge, it is not a predator.
It feeds on plankton through enormous filters and has less teeth than the average shark.
Many carpet sharks are currently endangered due to the commercial fishing industry.
With conservation efforts, these incredible creatures will hopefully be around for many years to come.
With such diversity, carpet sharks come in many shapes and sizes, and are all fascinating creatures.