School of sharks

Sharks stamps

Want to know more about the creatures featured on the Postal Service’s new Sharks stamps?

Dive in.

Sharks are known for light, flexible skeletons of cartilage; teeth replaced without limit; and skin covered by a hydrodynamic surface of tiny tooth-like structures.

They can use their keen senses to detect electrical signals given off by prey. Sharks can also use the Earth’s magnetic field for navigation, and their nervous systems allow them to adapt to miniscule water movements, such as the struggles of far-off fish.

Here’s a look at the five species featured on the stamps:

• Mako shark. The swift, streamlined mako shark is an athlete of the shark world. The stamp illustration depicts a shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) knifing through water.

• Thresher shark. The most distinctive feature of the pelagic thresher shark (Alopias pelagicus) is its unique, whip-like tail fin.

• Great white shark. The great white (Carcharodon carcharias) epitomizes sharks in many peoples’ minds.

• Whale shark. The world’s largest fish is the sluggish, filter-feeding, school bus-sized whale shark (Rhincodon typus).

• Hammerhead shark. The stamp depicts a scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), one of three large hammerhead species.

The stamps, which USPS will dedicate July 26 in Newport, KY, will be available at Post Offices and