Contents

Home

Updates

Stamp Links

 

INDEX OF THEMES

 

Mahatma Gandhi

Presidents

Prime Ministers

Nehru Family

Children's Day

Rulers & Royalty

 

Education Institutions

Armed Forces

Police

 

Olympics

Asian Games

Sportsmen

Other Sports

 

Brides

Dances

Masks

Rural Women

Tribes

Tribal Dances

 

Art

Films

Music

 

Animals

Birds

Flowers

Trees

Butterflies

Fossils

Sea Shells

Corals

 

Mountains

Railways

 

 

 

 

Sea Shells on Stamps

 

SEA SHELLS OF ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE OCEAN

 

Awareness about the necessity to preserve our environment has been growing all over the world in the past few decades. Also growing has been the tribe of nature-lovers as well as the quantum of research and study in ecology-related areas. In all such activity, however, attention is generally cornered by land and fresh-water organisms, with very little spotlight falling on marine life. Through this set of four stamps on the sea shells of Andaman and Nicobar islands, the Department of Posts attempts to generate and focus popular interest on marine ecology.

Sea-Shells, perhaps the most beautiful and enchanting of all forms of marine life, are actually the protective external calcareous covering of a group of soft-bodied aquatic organisms called molluscs, fascinating in their myriad shapes and colours. Some varieties of molluscs are consumed as food also. In India, the shells have traditionally been considered to have ritualistic significance in religious ceremonies.

_____________________________________________________

 

Cypraea staphylaea Linnaueus

SG 1831 (1998), Cypraea staphylaea Linnaueus

 

The first stamp depicts Cypraea staphylaea Linnaueus, found in Indo-West Pacific to Samoa, from North Australia to Japan. It measures up to 25 mm in size. A fully adult shell has fine nodules on the dorsum. It is dark-coloured when taken alive, soon fading through gray to almost white. The main distinguishing feature is the teeth, which cross to both the margins. The extremities at both the ends are red-brown.

_____________________________________________________

 

Cassis cornuta Linnaeus

SG 1830 (1998), Cassis cornuta Linnaeus

 

The second stamp shows Cassis cornuta Linnaeus, generally known as Horned Helmet Shell. It is wide spread in Indo-Pacific,and the size can be up to 350 mm. It is very solid and heavy with a short spire of about seven whorls. Angular shoulder has 5 to 7 flat, protruding blunt spines. The colour of the shell is white with light-brown shading and sparse brown spots and purple-brown marks on the smooth bands.

_____________________________________________________

 

Chicoreus brunneus Linnaeus

SG 1832 (1998), Chicoreus brunneus Linnaeus

 

The third stamp in the series shows Chicoreus brunneus Linnaeus, commonly known as Rock shell or Murex Shell. They live among rocks and corals in shallow water and are carnivorous. They are extensively distributed throughout Indo-Pacific Region and grow to a size of 70 to 80 mm. The shell is solid and heavy with many close-set spiral cords. It has one large blunt knob on shoulder and the shell is highly sculptured with spines and fronds. Colour is usually dark gray-brown. The aperture is white with the edge being light orange.

_____________________________________________________

 

Lambis lambis Linnaeus

SG 1833 (1998), Lambis lambis Linnaeus

 

The fourth stamp shows Lambis lambis Linnaeus, commonly called the Spider Shell. Found only in1 the tropical Indo-Pacific, in shallow or deep waters on coral rocks, its size can be up to 200 mm. Outer lip of the adult shell has six long spines. Body wheral has fine blunt knees, very deep and a wide stremboid notch is present on the dorsal side of shell. The colour is creamy-white being heavily mettled with brown and purple-brown.

It is also the objective of the Department through this set of stamps to focus attention on the untouched and unspoilt ecology of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Molluscs are organisms extremely sensitive to pollution and many species of this group today face the threat of extinction on account of aquatic pollution in different parts of the world. It is a matter of satisfaction that the pristine marine environment around Andaman and Nicobar Island still continues to provide them a habitat where they can thrive.

Date of Issue: 30.12.1998