Thursday, January 24, 2008

Carpet Shark

The order Orectolobiformes, also collectively known as the carpet sharks because many members have carpet-like patterned markings, includes a number of familiar types of sharks, such as the nurse sharks and whale shark, as well as some unusual species, such as the blind shark. The order is small, with only 39 species in seven genera.
Carpet sharks have two dorsal fins, without spines, and a small mouth that is forward of the eyes. Many have barbels and small gill slits, with the fifth slit overlapping the fourth. The upper lobe of the caudal fin tends to be mostly in line with the body, while the lower lobe is poorly developed, except in the case of the whale shark. While many in the order are small, the whale shark is the largest living fish