2019 35¢ Coral Reefs – Pillar Coral
Value: 35¢ Postcard rate non-denominated
Issue Date: March 29, 2019
First Day City: St. Louis, MO
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Ashton Potter (USA)
Printing Method: Offset, Microprint
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 125,000,000
Climbing up from the sea floor and reaching out of the reef like fingers, pillar coral are unlike other coral in several ways.
One of the most notable differences between pillar coral and other hard coral is that pillar coral feed during the day. Most other hard coral feed only at night. With their mass of tentacles stretched out in the water, they often appear furry. Pillar coral also differ from other species in that they are not hermaphroditic (carrying both male and female reproductive organs). Instead, some pillars are male and some are female.
Pillar coral are mostly found in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. They can reach a height of 10 feet with pillars over four inches wide. They grow slowly and can withstand strong waves, but are prone to breaking in hurricanes and tropical storms. However, if pillars break off, they can attach themselves to the ground, allowing for new pillars to grow. This can happen over generations, creating massive pillars.
Pillar coral are considered a vulnerable species, as their numbers have decreased and there are few juvenile coral in the wild. But in recent years, scientists have successfully bred and raised pillar coral in a lab. They hope to study these coral to better understand them, help them become more resilient, and possibly introduce them into the reefs to help restore their numbers.