According to info received by StampNews.com United Nations' Postal service is to issue a series of stamps dedicated to endangered fish species. This series consists of twelve items that are to be appear on the 23d of October.
The UNPA's Endangered Species series began March 3, 1993, as an effort to promote the protection of endangered species throughout the world. This is the 22nd set in the series.
The set includes four stamps for each of the three U.N. post offices at U.N. headquarters in New York City; the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; and the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria.
The first $1.15 stamp in the U.N./New York set shows Denise's pygmy sea horse (Hippocampus denise). This tiny fish, only about 5/8 inch in length, is named for marine photographer and naturalist Denise Nielsen Tackett.
At the other end of the size spectrum, the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is shown on the next stamp. The largest known fish, it can grow up to 40 feet or longer, about the size of a bus.
The second largest fish, the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus), comes in at about 33 feet. One is shown on a 1.40-franc U.N./Geneva stamp.
Another large shark, the great white (Carcharodon carcharias), is pictured on a €0.70 U.N./Vienna stamp. While about half as long as the whale shark, the great white swims much faster. The whale shark averages about 3 miles per hour, while the great white reaches speeds of 25 mph and higher.
The giant manta ray (Manta birostris) is equally large, growing up to 25 feet in length and weighing as much as 3,000 pounds.
Two large freshwater fish also are included in the set. South America's arapaima gigas (Arapaima) is featured on a 1.40fr stamp, and the paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) is on a €0.70 stamp.
Arapaima gigas, which can grow as long as 10 feet, also can breathe air.
The American paddlefish averages about 5 feet in length, while the Chinese paddlefish can be almost twice as long or even longer. However, according to National Geographic, no Chinese paddlefish has been seen in the wild since 2003.
The paddlefish is named for its paddlelike snout. The scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), shown on a $1.15 stamp, the large-tooth sawfish (Pristis pristis), on a 1.40fr stamp, and humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) on a €0.70 stamp also are named after distinguishing physical characteristics.
The remaining two stamps in the set feature freshwater fish: the Asian arowana (Scleropages formosus) on a $1.15 stamp, and the Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii) on a 1.40fr denomination.