The hidden date for this stamp can be found in the bottom-left corner.
For added security, the words "URSUS MARITIMUS" are micro-printed onto the stamp.
Bear paws are lightly printed onto the clouds.
This stamp was reprinted on December 13, 2002. The first printing was printed on Peterborough paper, and the second printing was printed on Tullis Russel paper. The main visual difference in the reprint is a UPC barcode that was added to the selvedge of the pane.
Continuing the exquisite Canadian Wildlife series launched last year, Canada Post will issue two new high-value definitives - a one-dollar Loon stamp and a two-dollar Polar Bear stamp.
Half of the world's 40,000 polar bears live in Canada - in the coastal regions of both the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, and in Manitoba, Ontario and arctic Quebec. As their Latin name ursus maritimus suggest, polar bears are maritime creatures. They spend most of their days out on the sea ice, hunting seals. Though they are believed to have evolved from grizzlies, polar bears have unique rounded shoulders and pronounced brow ridges. Their necks, skulls and noses are elongated and their muzzles are aquiline. Large paws help polar bears distribute their weight while walking on thin ice. Their front legs act as water propellers while their hind limbs function as rudders.
One of the most distinctive features of the polar bear is its colour. The white fur helps it blend into the arctic background and has special features for cold weather adaptation; it is translucent and transmits ultraviolet radiation to keep the skin warm. Equally distinctive is the polar bear's size. The largest carnivore in the world that lives mostly out of water, it can weight up to 800 kg - double the size of a grizzly!
Designed by Steven Slipp of Halifax, the Loon and the Polar definitives are wonderful wildlife issues that combine both modern and traditional printing techniques - intaglio for the animal portraits and offset lithography for the background colours. The halftone dot of the litho portion is made from a small icon image of each animal, providing one of several hidden security features. Both stamps will be issued October 27; the Polar Bear OFDC will be cancelled in Ottawa, Ontario.