Saturday, August 4, 2012

Endangered Marine Species in India

India Post and Philpost jointly issued a set of two se-tenant stamps and a miniature sheet on 16 and 27 November 2009 respectively.  This joint issue was to mark the 60 years of diplomatic relations between India the Philippines.  I'm happy to show you the Indian miniature sheet, on this mail posted from Bangalore, in the south of India.

Two endangered marine animals are featured in this set:

- The Ganges River Dolphin or Gangetic Dolphin (Platanista gangetica - Rs5 left) is a freshwater dolphin that is found primarily in the River Ganges.  It can also be seen in several rivers of South Asia.  During times of flood the Ganges River Dolphin is also seen in seasonal channels and flood plains.  

The Gangetic Dolphin eats various species of fish, frogs, amphibians and other invertebrates and possibly turtles and young water birds.  It uses echolocation to find its prey and also uses its flippers and snout to locate something edible in the muddy riverbed.

- The Butanding (Rhincodon typus - Rs20 right), or whale shark, is a slow-moving and the largest species of fish in the world which is also a filter feeding shark.  It can live for about 100 years, grow up to 12.2 m and weigh up to 13.6 tons.  It is usually found in tropical and warm oceans.

As a filter feeder, the whale shark’s foods are phytoplankton, macro-algae, plankton, krill and small nektonic like small squids, shrimps and prawns.

Whale sharks usually visit the waters of the Philippines specifically in Donsol from the month of November to May.  The Butanding is a migratory creature in nature which commonly travels across the oceans close to the equator.  Studies have shown that nowhere else in the world have a larger group of Butanding been observed than in the waters of Donsol, Sorsogon.

Mailing date:  9 November 2011
Delivery date: 18 November 2011

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