Fur seals on set of six stamps from Tristan da Cunha

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12 April 2017
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fur-seals-for-PR-72283.jpg The set of six 'Fur seals' stamps
Tristan da Cunha have issued a set of stamps to celebrate the islands’ fur seal population, the largest in the world.

Tristan da Cunha have issued a set of stamps to celebrate the islands’ fur seal population, the largest in the world. 

The fur seals have been investigated since 1974 at Gough Island, and from 2011 at Tristan da Cunha Island, by the Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology & Entomology, University of Pretoria, South Africa, under permit from the TDC Conservation Department, with approval by the Administrator and Island Council.

35p – Fur seal mother and pup
Lactating female, 1.0–1.3 m, 21–46 kg, and her older pup, which grows rapidly and moults to a silver-grey coat by four months of age. Vibrissae (whiskers) in older, adult females are wholly white but are predominantly dark in immatures of both sexes.

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35p – Immature fur seal
Medium-sized immature fur seal with typical lack of a clear demarcation between the dark upper parts and the pale face, throat and chest, only characteristic of older adults.

70p – Adult male fur seal
Adult male, 1.5–1.8 m, 74–158 kg, with an enlarged chest and shoulders, long white whiskers and a prominent crest or tuft on top of the head. The creamy-buff face, throat and chest is diagnostic, contrasting with the darker greyish-brown crown and back.

70p – Fur seal mother and pup
The adult female, without a prominent crest or tuft on top of the head has a more slender build than the adult males, with a creamy-buff face, throat and chest. Her pup, which she leaves periodically over a 10-11 month lactation period, to forage at sea, is partly moulted.

£1 – Partly moulted pup
Pups are 30–40 cm, 3–6 kg at birth with a black coat; They grow rapidly and moult to a silver-grey coat by four months; They remain at the islands until almost one year, fasting while they wait for their mothers to return from their frequent foraging trips.

£1 – Adult male fur seal
Russet coloured adult male fur seal in the late afternoon sun. The upper parts are usually a variable dark greyish-brown, fading to ginger on the belly and white to burnt orange on the chest, muzzle and face.
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Issue date: 12 April, 2017