On March 9, 2015 Argentinian Post released a set of
3 stamps: one Mini sheet with two stamps and one more single
Distingushed from stamps from 2014,
this time prehistoric animal is depicted on a single stamps rather than
part of a mini-sheet.
The single stamp shows Antarctopelta
oliverois dinosuars, found by Argentinian scientists in
In 1986, an expedition from
Institute to James Ross island found remains of unknown
dinosaur specie . It is a genus
of Ankylosauria dinosaur
represented by a single species, oliveroi,
lived at the end
of the Cretaceous
period (about 75
million years ago) in the Campanian, nowadays Antarctica.
The Earth’s climate was then warmer, and even
the Antarctica was already in the South Pole it was probable that it
would have been without ice at least part of the year, partially
coniferous forests and deciduous trees with high seasonality, a similar
environment to southern Patagonian Andes nowadays.
The sediments where the remains were found belong to
the Santa Marta Formation (along Kirpatrick formation, one of the only
two geological formations in Antarctica where there are dinosaur
remains).Teeth, parts of the lower jaw, fragments of a
skull, vertebrae, limb and toe bones, posterior part of a tail and hip
and numerous pieces of the shield of the Antarctopelta were found. The
collected in a 6 m2 area during several seasons,
and all of it is
considered to be part of a single individual. Among Ankylosauria the
Antarctopelta was medium
sized, about 4 mts long. It was a solid herbivorous, quadruped,
armor plates inserted in the skin and with small but well ossified
skull. From the found vertebrae, belonging to several
parts of the tail, ossified tendons at the superior and inferior sides
that organ can be assumed. In Ankylosauria this tendons helped to
the end of the tail, topped with a big bonny club. It is probable for
Antarctopelta to have had a similar club. These fossils are the only
ones known of this Ankylosauria, which despite being the first dinosaur
Antarctica was the second one to be formally named, next to the
1994. Antarctopelta was named in 2006 by argentine paleonthologists
Its name refers to the antarctic continent and its
nature (pelta means “shield” in greek). The only named specie (oliveroi)
honours argentine geologist Eduardo Olivero, who discovered it.
Antarctopelta oliveroi’s remains are on show in La
Plata Natural Sciences Museum, ceded by the Antarctic National
its care and exposure. This museum, built in
1884, is one of the oldest natural history museums in South America.
The collection of the
Vertebrates Paleontological Division (DPV) was created in 1877,
when Dr. Francisco Pascasio Moreno. who was a
director of the museum later on, donated 15.000
this original bone, several argentine and Antarctic dinosaur materials
been collected, acquired during more than a century and kept in the
collection of the
DVP. These contain thirteen types of materials and other important
of dinosaur, including ornithischians (ornithopods, ankylosaurs),
saurischians (theropod, saurophodomorpha) and three ichnospecies.
Background of souvenir sheet, map indicating Antarctic
section's zone where
in 1965, Operation 90 (First Argentine Land Expedition to the South
Pole) took place. On the map, the course (from Base Belgrano to South
Pole) is marked and in orange, the expedition's places and signiﬁcant
dates. Further, there is also a picture of the three researchers
performing topographic studies, a thermometer indicating record
temperature during that course and a picture of sledges and polar dogs.
In 1965. Argentine Army men decided to reach for the first time the
South Pole, via land from the General Belgrano Base, located at 77° 46'
South latitude and -38° 11‘ West longitude, on the Filchner Barrier.
The expedition began on October 26"‘ going on a very difficult road.
where the deep crevasses and sastrugis (furrows that the wind digs on
the ice surface) thus forcing
them to a slow, difficult and very risky march. At 83° South latitude
they required a two-day pause to repair the sledges. That was the most
difficult time of the trip, to which men referred as ‘Desolation camp‘.
On December 10"‘ -after a 4 days march and doing the last trek without
sleeping for 28 hours- the expeditionaries set foot on the Pole‘s
hardened snow and on the last day of the year, December 31" 1965, after
working their way for approximately 2900 km on the polar ice cap for 66
days, climbing to heights of over 3.000 metres at temperatures below
-40°, the group returned to Belgrano base. The feat had been
accomplished. More details about Operation 90 expedition is here.
Many thanks to
fellow stamp collector Romina Aimar (Argentina)
and her husband , for
their help in translation of stamp
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