Friday, September 23, 2011

Flora 2011 of Armenia

Armenia Post released the flora-fauna stamp series on February 02, 2011, that features the rare flora of Armenia, Sambucus Tigranii and Fritillaria  Armena. The issued stamps designed by S. Azaryan in multicolour and have same nominal value .

Sambucus tigranii, is very rare species and found in the resort of Arzni, Mt Aragaz, and the Ervard Ravine, Armenia. It is endemic to Armenia.A shrub grows along the river gorges, stony slopes, and dry places. It can reach 3 m in height.Sambucus tigranii is a species of plant in the Adoxaceae family and has huge scientific and practical value. It is high decorative plant.

Fritallaria armena is a dwarf species varying from 15-25cm tall with lovely glaucous foliage clustered around a short stem, below a deep garnet bell which shows red highlights in the sunshine. Fritallaria armena is a perennial with whorls of lance-shaped to linear, medium-green leaves reaching only 3 to 6 inches in height. The flowers are borne singular on stalks. They are cup-shaped and more narrow, only 3/4 inches long, pendant, with a checkered, dark purple-brown colour.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jersey Marine Life IX


The ninth issue in the Marine Life series of Jersey features Squirts and Sponges. The stamps have issued on April 7, 2011 and consist of six single stamps, one souvenir sheet.
Sea squirts, or tunicates, belong to the invertebrates family of marine animals.
Tunicates (Sea squirts), are  members  of   the  subphylum  Tunicata  or Urochordata. Now commonly known as sea squirts and sea pork. They are found from the intertidal zone to the deepest depths, permanently fixed to a surface. Some live individually, others live in groups or colonies.

The species of Squirt and Sponges depicted on stamps are :
37p (LSL), Mint - Gooseberry Sea Squirt
42p (LPL), Mint - Yellow Finger Sponge
50p (UK), Mint - Purse Sponge
60p, Mint - Star Squirt
72p, Mint - Light Bulb Sea Squirt
80p, Mint - Red Sea Squirt.

Sponges, also, known as 'Porifera', meaning 'pore-bearing', draw the water in through a complex of pores and canals. Sponges are animals of the phylum Porifera. Their bodies consist of jelly-like mesophyll  sandwiched between two thin layers of cells.
While all animals have un-specialized cells that can transform into specialized cells, sponges are unique in having some specialized cells that can transform into other types, often migrating between the main cell layers and the mesophyll in the process.


Sponges  do not   have  nervous,  digestive  or circulatory. Instead, most rely on maintaining a constant water flow through their bodies to obtain food and oxygen and to remove wastes, and the shapes of their bodies are adapted to maximize the efficiency of the water flow. (Resources: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pacific Year of the Coral Reef

1997, as part of a global campaign has been designated Pacific Year of the Coral Reef. Coral reefs with their immense diversity and myriad of colours are among the most productive and important ecosystems in the world .Coral reefs are home to a huge array of fish, crustaceans, molluscs and worms.Coral reefs are important as a resource to island nations. The increasing pressure on the reef ecosystems however, has made it necessary to implement an awareness campaign to highlight the importance and fragility of coral reefs.
There are over 148 species of hard coral (Sceractinians) and soft coral (Alcyonarians) within the waters of the Fiji Islands. Several species have depicted on the stamps which are issued for commemorating the Pacific Year of the Coral Reef.

63 cents - Pocillopora verrucosa (Ellis and Solander, 1786)
 This species has a wide geographic distribution, being found from the Red Sea and Eastern Africa throughout the Pacific.This hard coral is common in the shallow waters of the lagoon and reflect, but occurs as thickly branched colonies in the wave affected areas of the reef slope.Colonies are characterised by branches with small protuberances (verrucae) on them. The branches are thicker and more compact where there is wave action, with a more open appearance in protected areas such as lagoons.

87 cents - Favia rotumana (Gardiner, 1899)
It was hard coral found on the upper reef slopes and in the pools on the flat reef. Its growth form is messy and usually hemispherical or rounded. The corallites are irregular in shape, with the polyps often containing more than one centre or mouth. Its robust growth form makes it resistant to wave action. Tolerance of the environmental variation (turbidity, temperature and salinity fluctuations) in the shallow reef flat zone allow colonisation of a variety of reef habitats. Its range extends from the South China Sea throughout the Eastern Pacific to the Samoas.

$1 - Sinularia sp.
  This is soft coral. They can be distinguished from hard corals from their large fleshy colonies, which are soft or leathery in nature without a rock-like skeleton.The living polyp has eight tentacles (Octocorals), for feeding, whereas the hard corals have six or multiples of six (Hexacorals). They are common on the back reef margin of the barrier and inshore on fringing reefs where there is a silt or turbid environment. They are the dominant organism on some reefs, completely covering large areas to the exclusion of all else.

$3 - Dendronephthya sp.
This is the most colourful of soft corals appearing as iridescent reds, pinks and yellows. Their bright colour is due, in part, to the lack of the small, unicellular algae which live in the tissues of most hard and soft corals. As a consequence, the preferred habitat is deeper water, in shaded areas under overhangs and the entrance to caves. They occur on offshore reefs where there is clear water and good circulation. The colonies from branching tree-life colonies where the polyps are borne on the end of the branches. They have prominent skeletal spicules or sclerites which provide defence and give the colony a spiky appearance.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Juniper berry and Crow berry

On September 01, 2011, the Faroe Islands Post has issued the stamp features the ligneous  plants, Juniper berry and Crow berry.These woody plants are part of 400 species of plants that make up the wild flowers of the Faroe Island.

Juniper berry or Common juniper.

The juniper is a low-growing, evergreen shrub and as a dioecious species (has separate  the male and female plants). It needles measure approximately 1 cm and have a light, grey-green colour.
The male flower is yellow and oblong with an abundance of staments, meanwhile the female flower is greenish in colour, making it difficult to see.  The fruit consist of berry cones that take 2-3 years to mature.
The first year colour of berry cones are green and a deep blue colour in mature (after 3 years).
Juniper tree are low growing and cannot be used as timber. Juniper was used for smoking meat and rope ( made of twisted juniper stems) meanwhile the berries are not actually berries but seed cones, are also used as spice and medication.
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