Friday, November 20, 2009

India's 2009 Joint Stamp Issue with the Philippines

On November 16, 2009, India Post has announced the release of a joint issue with the Philippines to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and India. The se-tenant stamps and miniature sheet feature India's Gangetic Dolphin and the Philippines' Butanding.

The Ganges River Dolphin or Gangetic Dolphin (Platanista gangetica) is a freshwater dolphin that is found primarily in the River Ganges. It prefers to swim in deep waters. During floods, the Ganges River Dolphin is also seen in seasonal channels and flood plains. It prefers to stay in water with a temperature between 8 and 33 degrees Celcius. This dolphin feeds on various species of fish, frogs, amphibians and other invertebrates including turtles and young water birds. Fish is the main part of its diet and it spends much of its time feeding near the riverbed. The Ganges River Dolphin uses echolocation to find its prey and also uses its flippers and snout to locate something edible in the muddy riverbed.

The Butanding ((Rhincodon typus) is a slow moving whale shark. It's lifespan is about 70 years and grows up to 12.2 meters and weighs up to 13.6 tons. It is usually found in tropical and warm oceans. As a filter feeder, the whale shark’s food consist of phytoplankton, macro-algae, plankton, krill and small squids, shrimps and prawns. The Butanding is found in the waters of the Philippines specifically in Donsol, Sorsogon during the months of November to May. It is a migratory creature in nature and commonly travels across the oceans. It is only in the waters of Donsol that butandings are seen in large groups according to studies.

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