#5270 – 2018 First-Class Forever Stamp - Bioluminescent Life: Marine Worm (Flotas)

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#5270 – Marine Worm (Flota)

2018 50c Bioluminescent Life

 

Value:  50¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate- Forever

Issued:  February 22, 2018

First Day City:  Fort Pierce, FL

Type of Stamp: Commemorative

Printed by:  Banknote Corporation of America

Method:  Offset 

Format:  Pane of 20

Self-Adhesive

Quantity Printed:  40,000,000 stamps

 

Near the ocean floor off the coast of California, small worms known as flotas light up bright blue.

 

Flotas are members of the Polychaeta class, which has over 10,000 species.  These worms are often referred to as bristle worms.  They have small fleshy appendages called parapodia that are covered with small bristles (called chaetea), which is where they get their nickname. 

 

There are currently only two known species of flota worms – Flota vitjasi and Flota flabelligera – though scientists believe more will soon be identified.  Flota worms generally measure about one inch in length and less than a quarter of an inch wide.  They have a retractable head, which can be tucked down into a sheath in their necks, or stick out when they are eating.  Flota worms are most often found near the ocean floor.  They use their parapodia to gather food and to swim.  They are not very fast swimmers and have been described as “swimming vienna sausages.”

 

In the darker depths of the ocean, flota worms emit a bright blue glow from the tops of their parapodia.  While scientists do not yet know what causes this, it is possible they use their glow to ward off predators, similar to many other deep-sea creatures.

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#5270 – Marine Worm (Flota)

2018 50c Bioluminescent Life

 

Value:  50¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate- Forever

Issued:  February 22, 2018

First Day City:  Fort Pierce, FL

Type of Stamp: Commemorative

Printed by:  Banknote Corporation of America

Method:  Offset 

Format:  Pane of 20

Self-Adhesive

Quantity Printed:  40,000,000 stamps

 

Near the ocean floor off the coast of California, small worms known as flotas light up bright blue.

 

Flotas are members of the Polychaeta class, which has over 10,000 species.  These worms are often referred to as bristle worms.  They have small fleshy appendages called parapodia that are covered with small bristles (called chaetea), which is where they get their nickname. 

 

There are currently only two known species of flota worms – Flota vitjasi and Flota flabelligera – though scientists believe more will soon be identified.  Flota worms generally measure about one inch in length and less than a quarter of an inch wide.  They have a retractable head, which can be tucked down into a sheath in their necks, or stick out when they are eating.  Flota worms are most often found near the ocean floor.  They use their parapodia to gather food and to swim.  They are not very fast swimmers and have been described as “swimming vienna sausages.”

 

In the darker depths of the ocean, flota worms emit a bright blue glow from the tops of their parapodia.  While scientists do not yet know what causes this, it is possible they use their glow to ward off predators, similar to many other deep-sea creatures.