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Transkei 1993 "Fossils" 3rd set of the serie

Issue Date 18.06.1993
ID Michel:  303-306 Scott: 287-290 Stanley Gibbons: 301-304 Yvert:  303-306  UPU:  N/A  Category: pR
Author Lambert Kriedemann
Stamps in set 4
Value c45       Fabrosaurus
c65       Diictodon
c85      Chasmatosaurus

Ft1,05  Rubidgea
Size (width x height)
Products FDC x1
Perforation 14.25 x 14
Print Technique Ofset
Printed by  
Issuing Authority

Fossil bones of extinct reptiles that inhabited southern Africa around 200 million years ago are found in the Karoo rocks of Transkei. This set of stamps shows reconstructions of four of these prehistoric vertebrates in their natural habitats, based on the available fossil evidence.
The Karoo rocks comprise cemented sand and mud originally laid down by large meandering rivers that flooded their banks and in the process buried numerous skeletons of ancient reptiles that lived and died on the flood plains, including dinosaurs. At that time, southern Africa was part of an enormous continent called Gondwana, which later drifted apart to form the current continents of the southern hemisphere. Consequently, similar fossils can be found in India, Antarctica and South America. The Karoo rocks contain the best fossil record in the world of the gradual evolution from reptiles through the mammal-like reptiles to the first mammals, which took place in southern Africa some 200 million years ago.


The fabrosaurus was a small fleet-footed dinosaur that could rear up and run on its hind legs when frightened. While browsing on the lush riverside vegetation, they probably stayed close together, alert and ready to run as soon as the alarm sounded.


The diictodon was a small, herbivorous, mammal-like reptile with a tortoise-like beak and two prominent tusks, which were probably only a sexual characteristic but may have been used to dig up roots.


This reptile looked and behaved much like the modern crocodile. With its long, hooked snout and sharp, pointed teeth it was probably a sit-and-wait predator that preyed
on young reptiles and amphibia as they drank at water holes.


The rubidgea must have been the most fearsome pursue-and-pounce predator of its time. its powerful jaws had 15 cm long canines with serrated edges that were used
to stab and tear the flesh from its hapless prey.

Commemorative envelope: Massospondylus
This dinosaur became six metres long and reared up to browse on the young leaves at the top of trees, using its front legs to steady itself. Several complete skeletons of Massospondylus have been found in Southern Africa.
                                                    Text: Dr Roger Smith, Department Karoo Palaeontology. South African Museum, Cape Town. NMB Pnmers

Related stamps:
Transkei 1992 "Fossils" 2nd set of the series
Transkei 1990 "Fossils" 1st set of the serie



insidee text of the FDC




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Latest update 12.11.2012

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