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Dear Garrison, Spent the day

May 12, 2006 |

Dear Garrison,
Spent the day teaching 7th graders (boys) about the diversity of life. We did a websearch on various organisms, the hagfish being a big hit with the boys due to its sliminess, scavenging lifestyle and baroque mouthparts. Next we looked at the wobbegong shark whereupon I quipped that this creature had first gained wide notice on Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobbegong. Silence, except for the clacking of keys as my students dutifully recorded this in their journals. Could you give me a suitable test question?

Frank M.
Cleveland Heights, OH

Question: which of the following statements are true and which are false?

The wobbegong shark is found in shallow temperate and tropical waters around Australia and Indonesia and spends much of its time resting on the sea floor, thus it is often referred to as the "carpet" shark.
Small vegetation-like flaps of skin around the wobbegong's mouth serve as camouflage.
Wobbegongs do not eat humans though they have bitten people who accidentally step on them in shallow water and scuba divers or snorkellers who poke them.
They have many small sharp teeth and have been known to hang on and be difficult to remove.
The flesh of the wobbegong is called flake and it is often used in fish and chips in Australia.
The fish was made famous by the radio show, "Wobbegong Home Companion."

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