Celebrate the beauty and wonder of coral reefs with four new postcard stamps from the U.S. Postal Service.
Featuring highly stylized digital portraits, the stamp art depicts four types of stony corals with associated reef fish: elkhorn coral, shown with two French angelfish; brain coral, with a spotted moray eel; staghorn coral, with blue striped grunts; pillar coral, with a coney grouper and neon gobies.
Coral reefs are formed over thousands of years, mainly by colonies of animals called polyps. Polyps make stony corals, the foundation for most coral reefs, by secreting protective calcium carbonate or limestone skeletons. As these limestone skeletons accumulate over time – with new colonies of polyps growing on top of the skeletons of older ones – they build up the base of coral reefs.
Coral reefs are one of the world’s most marvellous ecosystems, sheltering and sustaining about a quarter of all ocean species. Anyone who has snorkelled in tropical environments has witnessed the sea come alive when approaching a coral reef. Suddenly an abundance of fish of all types and colors appear, along with various other animals and plants, including sea urchins, seagrass, octopuses, and lobsters.
Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps. Tyler Lang created the stamp art.
The word “POSTCARD” on the stamps indicates their usage value. Like a Forever stamp, these stamps will always be valid for the rate printed on them.