Aruba – Marine Life

Aruba - Marine life

Post Aruba emits its stamp series ‘Marine Life’

On a collaboration with Aruba National Park Foundation

On June 8, 2021, which is World Oceans Day, Post Aruba N.V. emits its stamp series ‘Marine Life’.

This emission was done in collaboration with Aruba National Park Foundation through a nature photography competition held in December 2021.

This stamp emission is accompanied by a First Day Cover envelope that was designed by Mr. Armando Goedgedrag.

Description of the stamps:

Title: Green sea turtle; a local favorite

Location: Arashi Reef, Aruba

Photographer: Kanter Constandse

Photographer Caption:

Locally turtles are probably the most popular find for divers and snorkelers. This sea turtle was resting in a coral bed on a known feeding ground for turtles; Arashi Reef. The key to approaching a turtle without disturbing it is a slow and low approach, breathing out slowly not to create any noise and minimizing movement. The turtle is framed with her natural protection surrounding her, and the coral on top of her like a symbolic crown to her beauty.

Creature description: Green sea turtle

The green sea turtle live throughout tropical and subtropical seas around the world, with two distinct populations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but it is also found in the Indian Ocean. Globally, the largest populations of sea turtles are in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and the Caribbean Sea.

The diet of green turtles changes with age. Juveniles are carnivorous, but as they mature they become omnivorous. Young sea turtles eat fish eggsmollusksjellyfish, small invertebrateswormsspongesalgae, and crustaceans

Green sea turtles have a relatively slow growth rate because of the low nutritional value of their diet. Body fat turns green because of the consumed vegetation.  Their serrated jaw helps them chew algae and sea grasses. Most adult sea turtles are strictly herbivorous.

Like other sea turtles, green sea turtles migrate long distances between feeding grounds and hatching beaches. Females crawl out on beaches, dig nests, and lay eggs during the night. Later, hatchlings emerge, and scramble into the water. Those that reach maturity may live to 90 years in the wild.

It is listed as endangered by the IUCN and CITES and is protected from exploitation in most countries. It is illegal to collect, harm, or kill them. In addition, many countries have laws and ordinances to protect nesting areas. However, turtles are still in danger due to human activity. In some countries, turtles and their eggs are still hunted for food. 

Pollution indirectly harms turtles at both population and individual scales. Many turtles die after being caught in fishing nets. In addition, real estate development often causes habitat loss by eliminating nesting beaches.

Title: “Face” of a Flamingo tongue

Location: Arashi Reef, Aruba

Photographer: Vasco v. Baselli

Photographer Caption:

It never ceases to amaze me how much beauty can be discovered when closing in on the tiniest details of the underwater world. In this super macro image, the details of the “face” of the Flamingo Tongue snail (Cyphoma Gibbosum) come to life, appearing almost to smile. Aruba, The One Happy Island, where even the Flamingo Tongues smile!

Creature description: Flamingo tongue snail

The flamingo tongue snail is a species of small but brightly colored sea snail, that live in the tropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean, in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and off the Lesser Antilles.

The flamingo tongue snail feeds by browsing on the living tissues of the soft corals on which it lives. Adult females attach eggs to coral which they have recently fed upon. After roughly 10 days, the larvae hatch.

Alive, the snail appears bright orange-yellow in color with black markings. However, these colors are not in the shell, but are only due to live mantle tissue which usually covers the shell. The mantle flaps can be retracted, exposing the shell, but this usually happens only when the animal is attacked.

This species used to be common, but it has become rather uncommon in heavily visited areas because of over collecting by snorkelers and scuba divers, who make the mistake of thinking that the bright colors are in the shell of the animal.

Title: Floating in the current

Location: Between Hole in the wall and Isla di Oro, Aruba

Photographer: Tobia de Scisciolo

Photographer Caption:

The magnificent Feather Duster Worm is a beautiful subject and I appreciate photographing it. I particularly enjoy using them as the centerpieces of my pictures as seldomly, like in this example, you find them isolated on top of a coral which if the right angle is used, allows you to obtain this dark blue almost black background. Through this empty and dark background, I enjoy how the main subject is put forward with the strong contrast of the dark blue oceanic background.

Creature description: Feather Duster Worm

Feather duster worms are a family of filter-feeding marine tubeworms that live motionless lives. They are known for their highly branched fan of tentacles that extends from their tubes, and look like feather dusters.

A Feather duster worm is often found in the subtidal zones of reefs around the world, positioned in moderate currents where plankton meals get brought to them each day that are gentle enough to not damage their feathery crown.

The feathery crown that gives the feather duster worm its name is a specialized part of its body that is used to trap plankton and move them to its mouth.  

These fan worms don’t have a face and eyes, but they are able to detect changes in the light and use that light sensitivity to protect them from predators.

If a feather duster worm detects a shadow or feels threatened, it will retreat into its tube for protection.

They also have the ability to reproduce asexually through fragmentation.

Title: The ghost crab

Location: Pink beach/pyramid rock behind the Arashi dunes, Aruba

Photographer: Nohemy Habibe

Photographer Caption:

On my last day shooting at the ‘pink beach’ /’pyramid rock’ behind the Arashi dunes, I saw a movement out the corner of my right eye. I had spotted many ghost crabs, but none were this big. We had a moment of mutual understanding as she let me get various shots from different angles and distances.

Creature description: Ghost Crab

Ghost crabs are common shore crabs in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world, inhabiting deep burrows in the intertidal zone. They are generalist scavengers and predators of small animals.

The name “ghost crab” derives from their nocturnality and their generally pale coloration which blends in well with the sand, though they are capable of gradually changing body coloration to match their environments and the time of day.

Characteristics of the subfamily include one claw being larger than the other, thick and elongated eyestalks, and a box-like body.

They are semi-terrestrial and breathe oxygen from the air through moistened gills. They must periodically wet their gills with seawater, usually by taking water from moist sand or by running into the surf and letting the waves wash over them. However, they can only remain under water for a limited amount of time, as they will drown.

They remain in their burrows during the hottest part of the day, and throughout the coldest part of the winter.

Ghost crabs are negatively affected by human activity on sandy beaches, such as sand trampling by foot traffic, the building of seawalls, or the presence of inorganic pollutants. Due to their worldwide distribution and the ease by which their burrows can be surveyed, ghost crab burrows are regarded as valuable ecological indicators for quickly assessing the impact of human disturbance on beach habitats.

This stamp series and First Day Cover envelope are available at all the Post Office locations, namely in Oranjestad and San Nicolas.

For more information on the “Marine Life” stamps serie please visit the Facebook page: Aruba Stamps or Webpage: postaruba.com/philatelic/