Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#504 Faroe Islands...Thanks Thorolf!

These 3 stamps are from 1990 Whales issue depicting Sowerby's Beaked Whale(320o),Bowhead whale (350o) and Northern Bottlenose whale (700o).

Sowerby's Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon bidens),also known as the North Atlantic/North Sea Beaked Whale, was the first beaked whale to be described. Its name, bidens, derives from the two teeth present in the jaw, now known to be a very common feature among the genus.

Sowerby’s Beaked Whales are reclusive creatures that stay away from ships and are rarely sighted. The whales are occasionally in groups of 8 to 10 individuals (males, females, and calves) and have been known to strand in groups as well. They are believed to primarily feed on squid and molluscs, but cod has also been found in their stomachs. They have been known to dive down at times approaching 30 minutes.

Bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus)is a baleen whale of the right whale family Balaenidae in suborder Mysticeti. A stocky dark-colored whale without a dorsal fin, it can grow to 20 meters (66 ft) in length. Estimated maximum weight of this thick-bodied species is 136 tonnes (134 LT; 150 ST), second only to the blue whale, although the bowhead's maximum length is less than several other whales. It lives entirely in fertile Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, unlike other whales that migrate to feed or reproduce. It is also known as Greenland right whale or Arctic whale. The bowhead is perhaps the longest-living mammal, and has the largest mouth of any animal.

Northern Bottlenose whale (Hyperooden ampullatus)is endemic to the North Atlantic Ocean and is found in cool and subarctic waters such as the Davis Strait, the Labrador Sea, the Greenland Sea and the Barents Sea. They prefer deep water. The total population is unknown but likely to be of the order of 10,000. "The Gully", a huge submarine canyon east of Nova Scotia, has a year-round population of around 160 whales.

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