The hidden date for this stamp can be found in the bottom-left corner.
Each day off the coasts of various parts of Canada, hopeful passengers embark on tours that take them on a unique search that of spotting whales at rest or play. Passengers are often rewarded with a glimpse of these majestic creatures; the luckiest disembark with a photo or two. On October 2, 2000, Canada Post will issue four domestic-rate ($0.46) commemorative stamps featuring whales that inhabit Canadian waters. Of the 35 species recorded in these waters, 21 are "common" or "regular." From these 21, two baleen (not-toothed) and two toothed whales have been selected for Canada Posts Whales issue.
The Tusked Narwhal
Perhaps responsible for the myth of the unicorn, the narwhal is easily recognized by a single long tusk on most males. The tusk, which develops from a tooth in the upper left jaw, can measure two metres in length and is used in fights to establish dominance in the hierarchy. Subsisting on a diet of squid, shrimp, and fish, narwhals are common in Baffin Bay and the Davis Strait, where occasionally, a tusk may be seen above water.
About the Artist
When Vancouver designer and illustrator Keith Martin began researching the subject matter for the Whales issue, scale became one of the most compelling aspects. His challenge in designing the stamps lay in using the space afforded by a postage stamp to accurately portray the majesty of the largest living animal ever. Resolution came by way of arranging the species into a single scene over the entire stamp pane, with each stamp focusing on a single whale and also carrying a fragment of the blue whale. By this arrangement, all whales are accurately portrayed in their range of relative size and physical characteristics. To carry the scene of this ethereal environment, metallic ink was used to mimic the play of light and current underwater.