Unique Marine Life
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Unique Marine Life
The South China Sea surrounding East Malaysia and
Brunei extend to great depths and contain life forms which are both
fascinating and mysterious. From the beautiful coral fishes to the
elusive deep-sea nautilus, these marine species descended from the
ancient fish-like creatures of the Ordovician period some 480 million
years ago. A number of these fishes have evolved into weird and
wonderful shapes and colors that they hardly look like fish. Among the
unique and fascinating marine species found in the tropical waters of
Sabah and Sarawak are the scorpion fish and the deep-dwelling
The Scorpion fish is a small compressed fish, with
high and long dorsal fins. Measuring up to 10 centimeters, it may
appear in a variety of colors including white, yellow, pink, green,
brown or black. Normally encountered on reef front and along the
external reef, it stands still with the dorsal fin lifted, rocking and
mimicking a seaweed that is being moved by the sea currents. It is an
ambush predator, often hiding amongst corals and gorgonians. Algae and
hydroids can grow on its skin that change from time to time providing
Orangestriped Triggerfish can be found in the warm
parts of the Indo-Pacific Ocean and Red Sea. They live in areas of
rich coral growth and on clear lagoon, channel or seaward reefs 2 to
50 meters in depth. This species is found present in coral reef areas
of the Brunei Darussalam's offshore waters. Adults can reach maximum
of 30 cm in length.
Male Orangestriped Triggerfish are territorial.
Spawning behavior involve loose aggregations and builds its nest in
channels. Eggs are laid in a single spongy cluster within rock
crevices and dug-out shallow sand areas. Eggs are hatched at night.
The fish is a hunter and is predatory in nature. It feeds on algae,
coral, sea urchins, crabs, mollusks, starfish, worm and sponges. The
fish would seek shelter in coral crevices when threatened or when
retiring for the night.
Having survived relatively unchanged for millions of
years, nautiluses represent the only living members of the subclass
Nautiloidea, and are often considered to be "living fossils". The
nautilus is similar in general form to other cephalopods (such as
cuttlefish), with a prominent head and tentacles. Nautilus pompilius
is the largest species in the genus. While some nautilus may grow up
to 268 mm in diameter, the majority of nautiluses never exceed 20 cm.
Nautilus spends daytime hours in very deep water up to 400 meters,
slowly ascending to 200 meters after sunset.
The spotted boxfish has a widespread distribution in
the Indo-Pacific and Eastern Pacific areas. It is one of the many
colorful coral reef fishes found present in Brunei Darussalam's
offshore waters. They can be found around calm shallow waters near
coral reef areas. The fish exhibits "sexual dichromatism" whereby the
sexes are of different colors. The female is brownish and densely
covered with white spots. The male, is more colorful with dark blue
sides blotched with brilliant yellow spots and marking. The dorsal
area is black with white spots. The head and tail are trimmed in
golden color. The fish grows to about 10 to 20 cm in length.
They are territorial and live in small haremic groups,
typically one male to several females. They are omnivorous and forage
alone within their home ranges for sponges, worms, tunicates and other
small bottom-dwelling invertebrates. The males defend their
territories against other male.
|Date of Issue
||6 February 2007
||50 sen x 2
||40mm x 30mm
||RM1.00 x 2
||100mm x 70mm
|Stamp Size in
||40mm x 30mm