Coral reefs hold immense significance as one of the planet’s vital ecosystems, providing a habitat and support system for approximately a quarter of all marine species.
The formation of coral reefs is a gradual process that unfolds over thousands of years, primarily through the collective efforts of tiny organisms known as polyps. These remarkable creatures create the framework of coral reefs by secreting hard skeletons made of limestone, giving rise to what are known as stony corals.
Over time, these limestone skeletons accumulate and become the foundation of coral reefs. As new colonies of polyps settle and grow atop the skeletons of older ones, they contribute to the vertical growth and expansion of the reef structure. This continuous cycle of growth and accumulation forms the intricate and diverse base of coral reefs, which serve as vital havens for a myriad of marine life.
The Coral Reefs stamps feature highly stylized digital portraits that depict four types of stony corals and associated reef fish:
Elkhorn coral and two French angelfish.
Brain coral and a spotted moray eel.
Staghorn coral and blue striped grunts.
Pillar coral and a coney grouper and neon gobies.