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South Africa 1982 "Karoo Fossils"

Issue Date 12.01.1982
ID Michel: 622-625, 14 Scott: 606-609, 609a. Stanley Gibbons: 532-535, 536 Yvert: 527-530, 14  UPU:  N/A Category: pR
Author Sheila Nowers
Stamps in set 4
Value 8c   Bradysaurus
15c Lystrosaurus
20c Euparkeria
25c Thrinaxodon
Size (width x height)
Layout Offset
Products FDC x2 MS x1
Print Technique
Printed by  
Issuing Authority

The rocks of the Karoo Sequence cover approximately half of the surface of the Republic of South Africa. These rocks contain one of the most complete records of the evolution of land animals during the Permian and Triassic Periods about 250 to 150 million years ago. These fossils occur in great abundance and have drawn the attention of scientists from all over the world..


This large, sluggish stem reptile lived approximately 250 million years ago. lt grew to about 5 m in length and must have been very clumsy because of its large body and short, thick legs and feet. lts almost hand-shaped teeth had small cusps on the edges and the specimens found are sharp and unworn. It is therefore thought that the animal fed on soft, floating water plants.
Lystrosaurus lived about 220 million years ago in Africa, India, Antarctica, Russia and China, which indicates that the Southern continents were once part of a super continent named Gondwanaland. The animal's eyes, and nostrils were placed high up in the head so th
at it could protrude only the top of its head above the water like a hippopotamus. lt was probably herbivorous.
This small bipedal reptile was a slender, agile and active animal that was undoubtedly carnivorous. It lived about 200 million years ago. It is generally accepted that Euparkeria was ancestral to the dinosaurs that were to become
the dominant terrestrial animals of later geological periods until this position was taken over by the mammals.

Thrinaxodon was a small mongoose-like reptile that lived about 220 million years ago. Many scientists think that it could be ancestral to the mammals. Some palaeontologists think that the animal could have been warm
-blooded and could have had hair like a mammal. lt was carnivorous.




Commemorative envelope: Emydops
Emydops was a rabbit-sized reptile with a long body and short, stumpy legs. It was herbivorous, with large tusks and small back teeth. The tips of the jaws were covered in horn as is the case in tortoises. It lived about 250 million years ago.




Commemorative cover with miniature sheet: Heterodontosaurus
This small, primitive dinosaurus lived about 150 million years ago. It grew to a length of about 1,5 m and was herbivorous. Unlike other dinosaurs it had canine-like teeth near the front of its jaws. The back teeth were adapted to a vegetarian diet.

Mini Sheet Used on cover

Register letter sent from RSA to Germany in 2012 with 15c sent stamp of the set.


Inside text of FDC 


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Latest update 25.11.2012

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