The Orectolobus arctoae or more commonly known as the Arctic Wobbegong, just like every other reproducing organism on this planet, goes through a process called natural selection. One adaptation of this particular organism is the ability to camouflage to the sand of the Arctic Ocean with lighter colored flesh [in comparison to its nimble yet sluggish cousin the Japanese Wobbegong]. The genetic variations of this adaptation are flesh tones that are the same color of, lighter or darker than the sand of the Arctic Ocean; which is uniquely lighter than that of the Indo-Pacific. The O. arctoae overproduces its offspring with one every two years. With a gestation period of 1 year and a lifespan of approximately 50 years, this organism produces 25 pups over its lifetime. The limiting factors in the environment of the Arctic Ocean that cause this adaptation are the threat of multiple species of large whales and other predators. In the process of selection, the Wobbegongs whose flesh is closer to the color of the sand are able to survive and reproduce viable offspring. Another adaptation of the Arctic Wobbegong is the layer of blubber under the dermis found in many Arctic organisms. The genetic variations of this adaptation are blubber depths that are thicker or thinner than the approximate 6 inches. The O. arctoae overproduces its offspring with one every two years. With a gestation period of 1 year and a lifespan of approximately 50 years, this organism produces 25 pups over its lifetime. The limiting factor in the environment of the Arctic Ocean that cause this adaptation is the extremely frigid waters as low as 14°F (-10°C) risking death. In the process of selection, the Wobbegongs whose
blubber is thicker are able to survive and reproduce viable offspring. These along with many other adaptations are what allow the Orectolobus arctoae to survive in the Arctic Ocean.
When an organism attains a new adaptation (or variation of an adaptation) it is a mutation in the genetic code from the original characteristic. This is shown when Wobbegongs that are found in the Indo-Pacific area contain no blubber, but when the Wobbegong is moved to the Arctic it will attain a thick layer of blubber.
Organism X -> Organism XX -> Common Ancestor
Organism Japanese Wobbegong Arctic Wobbegong Pacific Wobbegong
Kingdom Animalia Animalia Animalia
Phylum Chordata Chordata Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes Chondrichthyes Chondrichthyes
Order Orectolobiformes Orectolobiformes Orectolobiformes
Family Orectolobidae Orectolobidae Orectolobidae
Genus Orectolobus Orectolobus Orectolobus
Species O. japonicus O. arctoae O. pacificus
The Japanese and Arctic Wobbegong are extremely related, along with their common ancestor the Pacific Wobbegong. All three belong to the kingdom Animalia. Since the three sharks have backbones, they are in the phylum Chordata [animals with a primitive backbone] and are also members of the class Chondrichthyes, which is the class of cartilaginous...