|ID||Michel: 1370-1375, 15 Scott: 1342-1347, 1347a, 1347b, 1347c Stanley Gibbons: 1423-1428, 1429 Yvert: 1328-1333, 20 UPU: N/A Category: pR|
|Author||Stamp and cover illustrations: Peter
Typography: Sue Passmore, Australia Post Graphic Design Studio
|Stamps in set||6|
|Size (width x height)|
|Layout||15 stamps per sheet|
|Products||FDC x 1 MS x1|
|Printed by||McPherson's Printing|
|Issuing Authority||Australia Post|
Turning back the clock to the late 1800s, the first Australian dinosaurs were discovered but
remained extremely rare among Australian fossils. Between the time
1932 and 1981 no new dinosaur research was carried out, though in recent
years some exciting discoveries have been made.
Dinosaurs dominated Earth for more than 160 milion years. The stamps in the mini-sheet show a scene from the early Cretaceous period in Australia (more than 100 million years ago). Two of these stamps are issued as self adhesive too.
Flying reptiles or pterosaurs were not dinosaurs. However, they lived at the same time and were warm-bloodedthe energy demands of flight could never be met with a cold-blooded metabolism. Ornithocheirus lived in the Late Cretaceous and is also found in Europe, South America and Africa.
During the 19th century, in England many fragmentary pterosaur fossils were found in the Cambridge Greensand
First found in Australia in 1979, near Boulia in south-western Queensland. It was a coastal species, and had a wing span of about 2.5 metres.
About the size of a chicken with a skull only 6
centimetres long, Leaellynasaura was a bipedal herbivorous dinosaur.
Its eyes were exceptionally large, as was the part of the brain
dedicated to processing visual signals (the optic lobes). It would
appear to have been adapted for life in semi-darkness. During much of
the Cretaceous, when Leaellynasaura lived, Australia was far closer to
the South Pole than it is now, and would have been almost continuously
dark for two or three months of each year. It has been suggested that
this little dinosaur, too small to migrate,remained active throughout
the long winter.
Allosaurus was the big predator of the North American Late Jurassic, 135 million years ago, so it is a surprise to find it in Australia some 10 to 20 million years later. It grew to 12 metres long, and weighed up to two tonnes.
This ornithomimosaur (ostrich mimic dinosaur) is known from two thigh bones discovered in 1992. It probably looked something like a big emu, but with strong arms and a long, stiff tail. It probably fed on both plants and small animals, and relied on its great speed to escape predators.
All but the tail of this dinosaur has been found, near
Muttaburra in Queensland. Many of its bones were originally collected
by local people, but after palaeontologists had excavated the remainder
of the skeleton, a public appeal was made for the return of bones and
the skeleton was reconstructed.
The broad head ended in a horny beak which was used to
tear leaves, twigs and fruit from trees; further back in the jaws were
shearing teeth to slice up the food. The top of the snout was expanded
into a strange, hollow dome, similar to those seen in some duck-billed
Australia 1993 self adhesive
Patricia Vickers-Rich, Leaellyn S.Rich and Thomas H.Rich. Published 1996, Kangaroo Press.
ISBN 0 86417 798 4
Cover: The dinosaurs Minmi paravertebra,
Atlascopcosaurus loadsi, and Timimus hermani, and the pterosaur
Ornithocheirus, from an Australia Post stamp issue painted by Peter
d early secondary students, with the input of Drs Tom Rich and Pat Vickers-Richs' teenage daughter Leaellyn (after whom the dinosaur Leaellynasaura was named) to ensure the book is easy to read and accessable to most people. The copious photographs and illustrations make it of interest to people of all ages. It is essentially a brief history of Australian life from the first unicellular blobs to the late pleistocene. The chapter on dinosaurs tends to concentrate on the Dinosaur Cove discoveries, which is hardly surprising considering the authors. Although published in 1996 the book did not receive widespread distribution until the release of the movie Jurassic Park: The Lost World.
Digging up Deep Time
Paul Willis and Abbie Thomas
Australia is home to some of the world's earliest and most unique fossil finds. By investigating each important fossil site in Australia, Paul Willis builds a picture of Australia's earliest prehistory. As well as describing the fascinating natural history of this country, the authors recount the rollicking stories of our dinosaur hunters competing to find the most important fossils and to protect their discoveries.
Dinosaurs of Darkness: Life of the Past
Cover: Hypsilophodontids under an auroral polar sky, with Timimus hybernating in the foreground, by Peter Trusler
Dinosaurs of Darkness opens a doorway to a fascinating former world which existed in Australia more than 100 million years ago - when it was a polar region joined to Antarctica and plunged into darkness much of the year. The way we have come to know about this lost world - so different from any that exists on Earth today - makes for a fascinating story. The authors, who played crucial roles in this discovery, describe their efforts to collect the fossils indispensable to our knowledge of this realm and the laboratory work that unlocked their secrets. Dinosaurs of Darkness is an intriguing personal account of the way scientific research is actually conducted and how hard it is to mine the knowledge of this remarkable life of the past.
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Latest update 28.11.2015
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