Issue Date 09.11.2009 ID Michel: 1090-1093 Scott: Stanley Gibbons: Yvert: UPU: Category: Dw Author Julian Vasarhelyi Stamps in set 4 Value 35p Woodpecker Finch
40p Marine Iguana
50p Galapagos Tortoise
£ 2 Galapagos Penguin
Size (width x height) 28.45 x 42.58mm Layout 10 stamps in MS (5x2) Products FDC x1 MS x4 Paper Perforation 14 Print Technique Stochastic lithography Printed by Printer: BDT International Production Co-ordination: Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd Quantity Issuing Authority
|35p Woodpecker Finch|
Darwin observed that several islands had their own form of finch which were all different but closely related. Puzzling over these birds, that differed mainly in the size and shape of their beaks, when he was back in London led Darwin towards formulating the principal of natural selection. Subsequent research has confirmed Darwin’s belief that a single species had dispersed to different islands and then evolved into at least 13 different species as they adapted to suit different food types in a process known as adaptive radiation. As shown on the stamp, the Woodpecker Finch uniquely uses twigs and cactus spines as a tool to compensate for its short tongue if it’s unable to dislodge its prey.
|40p Marine Iguana|
Darwin wrote that ‘the black Lava rocks on the beach are frequented by large most disgusting clumsy Lizards’. These large (3 feet or more) reptiles, which demonstrate the unique evolution and adaption of Galapagos fauna, must have fascinated Darwin who made extensive observations about them. Looking quite fearsome or ‘hideous’ as Darwin put it, they are in fact harmless. It is one of the most unusual creatures in the Galapagos and the only lizard to swim in the ocean.
|50p Galapagos Tortoise|
The most recognised symbol of the Galapagos is perhaps the tortoise. Darwin remarked ‘These animals grow to an immense size .... several so large that it required six or eight men to lift them from the ground.’ Prior to the arrival of man the tortoise had no predators and the largest thrived, a process called Island Gigantism. Known to live for more than 150 years the tortoise played an important role in Darwin’s theory of evolution as he was to learn that tortoises from different islands had noticeably different characteristics.
|£2 Galapagos Penguin|
The Galapagos Penguin is endemic to the Galapagos Islands, and the only penguin to live near the Equator. They were brought to the Galapagos by the Humboldt Current, which brings cold waters and nutrients north from Antarctica. The heat is a problem for them. Years with warmer waters from the El Nino Current can see reductions in the small population as it causes a shortfall in the small fish that they eat. To keep themselves cool in the water they will hold out their flippers and on land spread them over their feet to protect them from sunburn.
References: Ascension Island Post Office & Philatelic Bureau
Latest update 27.11.2014
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