September 18, 2014

1229 AUSTRALIA - Koala

According to biologist Stephen Jackson: "If you were to take a straw poll of the animal most closely associated with Australia, it's a fair bet that the koala would come out marginally in front of the kangaroo".In 1997 e.g. about 75 percent of European and Japanese visitors to Australia placed the koala at the top of their list of animals to see. Factors that contribute to the koala's popularity in nowadays include its childlike body proportions and teddy bear-like face, even if early European settlers in Australia considered the koala to be a prowling sloth-like animal with a "fierce and menacing look".

The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae, is found in coastal areas of the mainland's eastern and southern regions, and is easily recognisable by its stout, tailless body (in length of 60-85 cm); round, fluffy ears; and large, spoon-shaped nose. Pelage colour ranges from silver grey to chocolate brown. They typically inhabit eucalypt woodlands, their diet consisting of the leaves of these trees, with limited nutritional and caloric content, so they are largely sedentary and sleep for up to 20 hours a day. Koalas have few natural predators and parasites but are threatened by various pathogens, as well as by bushfires and droughts. They were hunted by indigenous Australians and depicted in myths and cave art for millennia, but the first recorded encounter between a European and a koala was in 1798. A koala may live from 13 to 18 years in the wild. 

About the stamps

The first two stamps are part of the series The Monkey King: Uproar in Heaven, issued on June 1, 2014. The six stamps include images from the first color animated cartoon produced by China, with the same name, released in the 1960s, an adaptation of the novel Journey to the West, published in the 16th century during the Ming Dynasty and attributed to Wu Cheng'en. The six main themes of this stamp collection are the chapter titles in Journey to the West:
• Snatching treasure in the Dragon King’s palace (0.80 CNY)
• Conferring the title of bimaweng (an official guarding horse in the heaven) (0.80 CNY)
• Proclaiming himself Great Sage Equaling Heaven (1.20 CNY) - it's on the postcard
• Havoc in the peach garden (1.20 CNY)
• Ferocious battle with divine troops (1.20 CNY)
• Triumph in the temple of heaven (1.20 CNY) - it's on the postcard

The third stamp is part of the series Scenic Spots in Hong Kong, issued on 1995. The fourth stamp is one of the four of the series Internet Life, issued on April 20, 2014.

Koala - Wikipedia

Sender: Zhou Fei / Isaacfry (postcrossing)
Sent from ???? (??? / China), on 20.08.2014

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