Croatian post issued a second series of the Croatian Undersea World stamps featuring various sea creatures. The stamps features Neptune’s lace, Long-snouted seahorse, Violescent sea-whip and Cylinder Anemone.
The colourful stamps have been issued in a self-adhesive sheetlet of four postage stamps with the Priority/Airmail label marked on the stamps.
Croatian Undersea World II
Neptune’s lace, lat. Reteporella beaniana (King, 1846), ‘belongs to bryozoans. In spite of the fact that more than 200 species live in the Adriatic Sea and that more than 5000 species have been described living in world seas and several times more fossil species are known, the bryozoans are organism mostly unknown to majority of people.
Bryozoans are communities of animals that develop colonies of various forms and sizes, only rarely bigger than about ten centimetres.
Long-snouted seahorse, lat. Hippocampus guttulatus (Cuvier, 1829), belongs to best known sea fish although at first sight it is not at all similar to a fish. His head and neck are similar to horse’s head and neck and therefore, according to the Greek word hippos (horse) a part of its genus name is Hippocampus.
The other part of the name originates from kampos in the meaning of sea monster.
Seahorses live in shallow populations of seaweed and sea flowering plants, mostly without moving much, holding with their flexible tail to plants, to which they are alike. This makes them invisible even to larger predators but also for their tiny prey, most often small crabs or fish roe, which they catch by a jerk of head only when they get in front of their mouth.
Violescent sea-whip, lat. Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826), is known in our country under the name of crvena gorgonija (red gorgonia) because of its dark red to violet colour which it assumes when illuminated under sea water.
To the depths of 20 to 140 metres, where it lives, penetrates no red part of the sunlight spectrum, so that without the artificial light it looks dark blue to black.
Violescent sea-whip is a colony of thousand polyps similar to a small fan-like, branchy tree. It grows up to one centimetre a year, so that some specimens that reach the height of one metre are probably more than hundred years old.
It lives on vertical and slant rocks, in areas with stronger sea currents, which bring food and oxygen to polyps and where the temperatures rarely exceed twenty degrees Celsius.
Cylinder Anemone, lat. Cerianthus membranaceus (Spallanzani, 1784), is an unusual organism which belongs to cnidarians, or more precisely to actiniaria.
It lives partly implanted into the soft sea bed inside its waxen, wrinkled cylinder which she herself produces. The cylinder surrounds the whole animal except for the tentacles, but also tentacles are quickly drawn into the cylinder in case of danger.
Earlier, it was believed that the cylinder originated from the mucus, however it was discovered that it is produced by weaving of special thread, emitted by cells very similar to stinging cells of cnidarians – those which cause intensive skin irritation, like jelly fishes and snakelocks anemones.
Title: Croatian Undersea World II
Date of Issue: 15 June 2015
Denominations: 5,8 HRK x 4
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