Swedish post Jointly with Canada issued a set of stamps featuring four marine animals. The Blue Whale – probably the biggest animal ever to live on Earth – is by far the largest of the animals depicted, and the Sea Otter the smallest. The other animals are a Ringed Seal and a Harbor Porpoise.
The enormous Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) rolls its long, powerful body majestically through the water. The blue whale is the largest animal on Earth, and with a potential length of over 30 meters it compares to some of the very largest dinosaur species. The blue whale can be found in all the oceans, and as summer approaches it seeks out cooler waters around the Arctic and Antarctic. Despite its size the blue whale can only eat small creatures, its diet of choice being krill, a tiny crustacean.
The Harbor Porpoise (Phoconidae) is also a species of whale, a toothed whale in fact. The flatter teeth and blunt nose distinguish it from the dolphin. The porpoise can be found in all the world’s seas and tends to keep to coastal waters. The fastest porpoise species can swim at over 50 kilometers an hour, although its jump is not as advanced or venturous as the dolphin’s.
The Ringed Seal (Pusa hispida) can be found in the Arctic Ocean, as well as the Baltic. Most of the Baltic ringed seals live in the Gulf of Bothnia, but are becoming increasingly scarce further south due to the mild winters. The Atlantic ringed seal likes to swim along the Canadian coast down towards Newfoundland.
The smallest of the marine animals on the Marine Life stamps is the Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) with a maximum weight of about 45 kg.The otter has extremely dense fur to counter the cold. There are about 100,000 hairs on one square centimeter of skin, about the same as a human’s head hair. The sea otter is perhaps best known for using tools. To access the contents of clams and other molluscs, the otter lays them on its chest and breaks a hole in the shell using a stone. Smart!
Title: Marine animals joint issue with Canada
Date of Issue: 13 May 2010
Denominations: 12 kr x 4