Trivia about the Philippine Marine Biodiversity I

 

Postal patrons and stamp collectors will truly love the unique designs of these definitive stamps which showcase the interesting parts of the Philippine marine organisms:

Dendronephtya Soft Coral (Dendronephthya sp.)
Viewed close up these magnificent animals present a graphic example of soft coral anatomy. They lack symbiotic algae or zooxanthellae that mask the internal structure of many other species. The embedded calcareous slivers or sclerites that make up the internal skeleton are clearly visible through the semitransparent trunk and branches. Fleshy polyps are grouped in clusters on the branch.

Sea Apple (Pseudocolchirus violaceus)
This is one of the most beautiful of all echinoderms. The globular, relatively soft body comes in a variety of colours and is crowned with flowery tentacles surrounding the mouth. When planktonic food items are trapped its fleshy arm transfers the objects to the mouth. This animal inhabits both flat, silt bottoms and steep dropoffs to depths of about 30 meters. Rarely seen, it is however, abundant on steep walls off southern Komodo and some adjacent islands in Indonesia.

Spotted Boxfish (Ostracion meleagris)
The male and female of this specie can be distinguished accordingly. The male is the more colorful of the species. The top of the body is black with white spots and the lower flanks are violet with yellow spots. The two sections are separated by a yellow line. The eye is yellow-gold. By contrast, the female is almost entirely black with white spots. Excellent water quality at all times is essential for this species.

Broadclub Cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus).
This specie, together with the tiger-stripped Pharaoh cuttlefish are frequently seen hovering above the bottom on Southeast Asian coral reefs. Both are good to eat and keenly sought after by local fishermen. Divers are usually able to approach these animals to within a meter or so.

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