Saturday, October 30, 2010

The life circle of Hawksbill Turtle on stamps.

The Green Turtle and Hawksbill Turtle species are relatively common in Fiji, whereas the Loggerhead and the Leatherback are quite rare.

The Hawksbill turtle is one of the smaller species and has a distinctive and very beautiful shell made up of overlapping plates. It is most easily recognised by the notched edges or 'spurs' to the 22 edge plates of its shell. The adult turtle is about 90cm long. Hawksbill turtles feed on sponges and soft corals, which are found on the reef. Hawksbill turtles live near the shore and the females come ashore on many small islands in the Fiji group between November and February to lay eggs.

The following stamps have issued by Fiji Post on 1997, depicted a stage in the turtle's life cycle that very little is known about on 4 stamps and one souvenir sheets. The issues are very helpful to human for learning the Hawksbill life.


63 cents - Female Hawksbill

The stamp has depicted a female Hawksbill turtle, laying her eggs after having struggled up the beach to dig out her nest by using the front flippers and back flippers to form a vertical tunnel, the egg chamber. Turtles lay eggs every 2-3 years.The number of eggs laid, is generally between 100-200.


81 cents - Group of baby hawksbill

This stamp depicted a group of Baby Hawksbill turtles emerging from the nest, and scrambling towards the sea. It is hard to tell the sex of a small turtle just by looking at it. An adult male can be identified by its long tail and long claws on the front of the flippers.


$1.06 - Hawksbill at adolescence

After leaving the nest and entering the ocean, turtles are seldom seen until their carapace is 35-40cm long when they move to live and feed in shallow waters.Those hatchlings, which survive to cross the reef, swim until they reach deep water where ocean currents help the turtles drift for the first few years.


$2 - The adult Hawksbill

The stamp depicted the results of many years of seclusion and a life fraught with danger.After mating, the males return to the feeding grounds, while the females stay near the nesting beaches, where a month later she clambers out of the sea and up to the beach to lay her eggs.


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