#5272 – 2018 First-Class Forever Stamp - Bioluminescent Life: Marine Worm (Plankton)

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#5272 – Marine Worm (Plankton)

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

 

In deep ocean waters all over the world, small plankton worms glide through the darkness in search of food.  If along the way they come across a predator, they release a sparkling flurry of glowing particles.  This draws their attacker away, allowing them to escape.

 

Plankton worms are usually only between 3/4 and 11/2 inches in length.  Their bodies are almost entirely transparent, so they can be very hard to see when they are not glowing.  The genus to which plankton worms belong, Tomopteris, means “cut wing,” describing how the creature’s parapodia (paddle-like outgrowths) form a fin while they swim through the water.

 

Most species of plankton worms glow blue and will release bright blue particles from their parapodia.  Some species of plankton worms expel eggs or mucus, which also glows. 

 

Additionally, there is a species of plankton worm that glows yellow.  Few bioluminescent creatures glow this color, and this is particularly rare of marine creatures.  Whether blue or yellow, the practice of expelling glowing particles is essential to the survival of many plankton worms.  It provides them with just enough time to swim away from larger predators.

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#5272 – Marine Worm (Plankton)

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

 

In deep ocean waters all over the world, small plankton worms glide through the darkness in search of food.  If along the way they come across a predator, they release a sparkling flurry of glowing particles.  This draws their attacker away, allowing them to escape.

 

Plankton worms are usually only between 3/4 and 11/2 inches in length.  Their bodies are almost entirely transparent, so they can be very hard to see when they are not glowing.  The genus to which plankton worms belong, Tomopteris, means “cut wing,” describing how the creature’s parapodia (paddle-like outgrowths) form a fin while they swim through the water.

 

Most species of plankton worms glow blue and will release bright blue particles from their parapodia.  Some species of plankton worms expel eggs or mucus, which also glows. 

 

Additionally, there is a species of plankton worm that glows yellow.  Few bioluminescent creatures glow this color, and this is particularly rare of marine creatures.  Whether blue or yellow, the practice of expelling glowing particles is essential to the survival of many plankton worms.  It provides them with just enough time to swim away from larger predators.