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Ireland 1999 "Extinct Irish Animals" (Mint)

Issue Date 11.10.1999
ID Michel: 1184-1187, Bl.33 Scott: 1205-1208 Stanley Gibbons: 1270-1273, Bl. 1274 Yvert:  1188-1191, Bl. 35 UPU:  N/A Category: pR
Author Finbarr O'Connor
Stamps in set 4 (two se-tenant pairs)
Value 30p se-tenant pair (Giant Deer and Mammoth)
45p se-tenant pair (Wolf and Brown Bear)
Size (width x height) 29.8mm x 40.64mm / 40.64mm x 29.8mm ; Mini-sheet 150mm x 68mm
Layout Sheet of 16 stamps, Mini Sheet of 4 stamps
Products FDC x2
Paper phosphor tagging (stamps only)
Perforation 14 x 15
Print Technique Lithography multicolour with
Printed by  Irish Security Stamp Printing Ltd
Quantity 1.5 Million
Issuing Authority Irish Post
Mammoth and giant deer among extinct irish animals on stamps of Ireland 1999


On October 11, 1999, Post Authority of Ireland issued set of four stamps "Extinct Irish Animals" that shows two extinct and two prehistoric animals: Mammoth and Giant Deer. These stamps issued  in mint sheet of 16 and mini sheet of 4 stamps, as well as box of 100 self adhesive stamps, where all stamps are printed in a stripe.

Following on from 1998 years Endangered Animals issue, stamp artist, Finbarr O'Connor has this year produced an equally exciting and colorful series of stamps featuring four animals which are now extinct in Ireland - the Wolf, the Brown Bear, the Mammoth and the Giant Irish Deer.
Wolf on extinct irish animals stamp of Ireland 1999The wolf (Canis lupus) was living in Ireland before man arrived and remained here until the beginning of the eighteenth century. Wolves were quite common in wilder regions of Ireland up to the end of the Middle Ages, when hunting and the destruction of their natural habitat led to their rapid decline. They are still found in North America and the mountains of
Eurasia.
Brown bear on extinct irish animals stamp of Ireland 1999The brown bear (Ursus arctos) was also present in Ireland when man first arrived around 10,000 years ago and it is thought that the clearance of forests may have led to the animal becoming extinct here. Up to a few hundred years ago, brown bears inhabited the forests of northem Europe but are now in decline.

Mammoth on extinct irish animals stamp of Ireland 1999Fossilized bones, dated to around 33,000 years ago, confirm the presence of the mammoth (Mammuthus piimigenius) in Ireland around this time. The woolly mammoth was about the same size as a modern African elephant and had a thick two-layered coat of brown hair. After the last major cold phase of the Ice Age, about 20,000 years ago, mammoths became extinct here. Giant deer on extinct irish animals stamp of Ireland 1999Although the giant Irish deer (Megaloceros giganteus) first appeared around the same time as the mammoth, this animal is especially associated with a warm period about 12,000 years ago. The male of the species was about 2 meters tall at the shoulder with huge antlers. Since the antlers were discarded and re-grown every year, the animal had to eat large quantities of calcium-rich vegetation to sustain itself.

Products
FDC  (The first day cover, which features the now extinct male arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) in summer coat, is also designed  by Finbarr O'Connor.)
Mammoth and giant deer among extinct irish animals on FDC of Ireland 1999Mammoth and giant deer among extinct irish animals on FDC of Ireland 1999
Mammoth and giant deer among extinct irish animals on stamp mini sheet of Ireland 1999


References: Inside text of FDC

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