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ANDY MURCH ELASMO GEEK

 

WHAT IS ELASMODIVER?

Not just a huge collection of Shark Pictures: Elasmodiver.com contains images of sharks, skates, rays, and a few 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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WARDS WOBBEGONG

Photographs copyright of Andy Murch all rights reserved.

View all available Wards Wobbegong Pictures in the Shark Pictures Database

Common Names: Wards wobbegong, Northern wobbegong.

Latin Name: Orectolobus wardi

Family: Orectolobidae  

Identification: Covered in comparatively simple markings compared to other wobbegongs. Three dark saddles on head and torso. Two or three dark bands posterior to pelvic fins. Daubs of brown in remaining areas cover a pale background. Nasal barbells unbranched. Two pairs of wide dermal lobes above upper jaw anterior to eyes. Two pairs of dermal lobes posterior to spiacles.

Size: 63cm maximum recorded but possibly to 1m. Birth size unknown.

Habitat: Shallow reefs greater than 3m. Often in turbid water.

Abundance and distribution: North western to north eastern Australia. From at least as far as Exmouth in WA to Queensland.

Behavior:  Nocturnal. Remains motionless during the day usually hidden under deep ledges.  

Reproduction: Ovoviviparous.

Observations:

Photographs: Navy Pier, Exmouth, Western Australia.

Similar species: There are seven described species and a few undescribed species of wobbegongs. Most can be distinguished by barbell configuration and markings. The ornate wobbegong shares much of the Wards range but is easily distinguished by its more complex patterning.

Reaction to divers: Remains at rest relying on camouflage unless harassed.

Diving logistics: This wobbegong is sporadically seen at the Navy Pier in Exmouth. It is not always there and it is generally very hard to find much less photograph. This is a very secretive species. It may be more common in other areas but the advantage of Exmouth is that the water is usually fairly clear compared to its other turbid environments.

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.

Sharks of the World - L. Compagno et al.

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