Thursday, August 11, 2011

Australia’s Whale

Australian Post have concerned about the species of Whales, and issued the stamp features that Sperm Whale, Southern Right Whale, Blue Whale, and Humpback Whale on the different nominal value . The stamps have issued on February 17,1982 and designed by Robert and Katrina Ingpen.

The stamp 24c  - Sperm Whale
The Sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus, is a marine mammal species, order Cetacea, a toothed whale (odontocete) having the largest brain of any animal. Sperm whales are the deepest diving whales. The name comes from the milky-white waxy substance, spermaceti, found in the animal's head. Spermaceti found many important uses, such as candles, soap, cosmetics and machine oil.
Sperm whales produce ambergris, a dark, waxy substance (related to cholesterol) that is produced in the lower intestines, and is sometimes found containing squid beaks. Ambergris may help protect the sperm whale from the stings on the giant squid, its major food. Large lumps of ambergris may be vomited up by the sperm whale.
The sperm whale is the largest toothed whale, with adult males measuring up to 20.5 metres  long and weighing up to 57,000 kilograms.The sperm whale's distinctive shape comes from its very large head, which is typically one-third of the animal's length. The blowhole is located very close to the front of the head and shifted to the whale's left.This gives rise to a distinctive bushy, forward-angled spray.
The sperm whale's flukes are triangular and very thick. The whale lifts its flukes high out of the water as it begins a dive .Sperm whale teeth are uniform. The teeth in the upper jaw never erupt.

The stamp 35c - Southern Right Whale
The southern right whale  or Eubalaena australis is a baleen whale, one of three species classified as right whales belonging to the genus Eubalaena.The right whale's callosities appear white due to large colonies of cyamids (whale lice).Approximately 12,000 southern right whales are spread throughout the southern part of the Southern Hemisphere.
The maximum size of an adult female is 18.5 m and can weigh up to 80 tonnes. The testicles of right whales are likely to be the largest of any animal, each weighing around 500 kg. This suggests that sperm competition is important in the mating process. Right whales cannot cross the warm equatorial waters to connect with the other (sub)species and (inter)breed: their thick layers of insulating blubber make it impossible for them to dissipate their internal body heat in tropical waters.

The stamp 55c - Blue Whale
The blue whale  or Balaenoptera musculus is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales .Blue whales are rorqual whales, whales that have pleated throat grooves that allow their throat to expand during the huge intake of water during filter feeding. Blue whales have 50-70 throat grooves that run from the throat to mid-body.
Blue whales are the loudest animals on Earth! Their call reaches levels up to 188 decibels. This low-frequency whistle can be heard for hundreds of miles. The blue whale is louder than a jet, which reaches only 140 decibels!
The blue whale's skin is usually blue-gray with white-gray spots. The underbelly has brown, yellow, or gray specks. They have a very small, falcate (sickle-shaped) dorsal fin that is located near the flukes (tail). Blue whales have long, thin flippers 8 feet long (2.4 m) and flukes that are 25 feet (7.6 m) wide.
Its diet consists almost exclusively of small crustaceans known as krill. Long and slender, the blue whale's body can be various shades of bluish-grey dorsally and somewhat lighter underneath.

The stamp 60c - Humpback Whale
The humpback whale  or Megaptera novaeangliae is a species of baleen whale. Adults range in length from 12–16 metres  and weigh approximately 36,000 kilograms .The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with unusually long pectoral fins and a knobbly head.
Humpback whales can easily be identified by their stocky bodies with obvious humps and black dorsal colouring. The head and lower jaw are covered with knobs called tubercles, which are actually hair follicles and are characteristic of the species. The fluked tail, which it lifts above the surface in some dive sequences, has wavy trailing edges.


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