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United Kingdom 2006 "Ice Age Animals"

Issue Date 21.03.2006
ID Michel: 2391-2395 Scott: 2359-2363 Stanley Gibbons: 2615-2619 Yvert:  UPU: GB029.06 Category: pF
Author designed by Howard Brown with illustrations by Andrew Davidson
Stamps in set 5
Value 1st class - sabre tooth cat (Homotherium latidens)
42p -
giant deer (Megaloceros giganteus)
47p -
woolly rhino (Coelodonta antiquitatis)
69p -
woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius)
1.12 -
cave bear (Ursus spelaus)
Size (width x height) 37x35mm
Layout Sheets of 25 and 50 stamps
Products FDC x many  MC  PP x1
Paper
Perforation 14x14.5
Print Technique

lithography

Printed by Joh Enschede Security Prin
Quantity
Issuing Authority Royal Mail of Great Britain

 

The Royal Mail have launched a special set of new stamps featuring hairy - and scary - from the ice age which began around 2 million years ago. The set features the giant deer, sabre tooth cat, woolly rhino, cave bear, and woolly mammoth. Remains of all of the creatures have been found across the UK, including a woolly rhino fossil under London's Battersea Power Station and a woolly mammoth under The Strand in London.

The Royal Mail worked with the Natural History Museum to produce the stamps and the beautifully detailed engravings are the work of Andrew Davisdson. Andy Currant, Ice Age Mammals expert at the Natural History Museum, said 'we're discovering new evidence about the Ice Age all the time, and it's fantastic that the stamps show the public some of the animals that roamed these shores.' 'At the Natural History Museum we have the best collection of Ice Age mammal fossils in the UK and, working with experts from other institutions, we're using our resources to try to put together this piece of unwritten history'.

The creatures were reproduced into spectacular ice sculptures for the launch of the stamp set at the Natural History Museum. Royal Mail's Head of Special Stamps, Julietta Edgar, said: "I'm delighted that millions of people will get the chance to see some of these amazing animals once again, but this time from the safety of a stamp!"

Creatures from different time periods are just one of many things depicted on the stamps you will find in a philatelists collection. Some stamp collectors have collected so many of these stamps over the years that modifications to their home or office may be necessary to not only store but to properly display their stamp collection. Collectors may turn to a Home Advisor or other specialist to make an changes or improvements to their home to accommodate their large and growing collections

 

1st class - sabre tooth cat (Homotherium latidens)

 

There were many different species of sabre-tooth cat around the world; all are now extinct. The last European species, Homotherium, died out about 400,000 years ago. Although overall about the size of a lion, it had a long neck and relatively long front legs, which together with muscular forequarters made the animal look more like a hyena than a cat. It pursued prey such as horses and young mammoths, and used the long canine teeth - strongly flattened and quite fragile - to press into captured prey rather than to capture or stab at them.

 

42p - giant deer (Megaloceros giganteus)

Giant deer had the largest antlers of any known deer, living or extinct. They grew in size and complexity through the animal's youth, typically reaching a span of 2.5-3.5 metres in large stags. Shed each year in the spring, they were grown through the summer, and used in fighting during late autumn and winter. These huge deer reached around 1.8 m height at the shoulder and weighed around 500 kg. The giant deer lived in small herds and was not an abundant species, perhaps because growing the huge antlers restricted it to areas of mineral-rich vegetation. The last ones died out only 7,000 years ago in western Siberia. 

 

47p - woolly rhino (Coelodonta antiquitatis)

 

DNA extracted from frozen carcasses has shown that the woolly rhino was most closely related to the living Sumatran rhinoceros. It had a body weight of about 2 tons, a massive shoulder with a height of about 1.8 metres, and a thick mane. The extraordinary front horn was typically 1.2m long, and very flattened. Close examination reveals that the front edge had a 'keel', suggesting active side-to-side movements of the head, perhaps for snow-clearing. Like living rhinos, the woolly rhino was probably solitary or lived in small groups.

 

69p - woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius)

 

Contrary to popular belief, the woolly mammoth was no larger than living elephants, but with a domed head, sloping back, thick, hairy coat and enormous spirally curved tusks. It also had tiny ears and a very short tail - probably to minimise heat loss or frostbite. Stomach remains preserved in some Siberian carcasses show that the diet was 90% grass, plus mosses, ferns, and some shrub browse. Living in an open habitat, it is likely that herds often accumulated into hundreds or even thousands of animals, but within this smaller family structures, as in living elephants, still remained.

 

1.12 - cave bear (Ursus spelaus)

 

Fossils of this extinct species have been found only in the middle and southern latitudes of the European continent. A bear of very large size - larger than the American grizzly - it was also marked out by a very pronounced 'step' shape of the forehead. Some caves in central and eastern Europe have yielded vast quantities of remains - up to 30,000 individuals in one Austrian cave alone. While most species of the bear family are omnivorous, recent biochemical analyses of fossil bones confirm that the cave bear was an exclusive vegetarian.

 Special postmarks announced for the Day of Issue.

 Official post marks. 

Official Bureau postmark showing the Giant Deer skeleton.

Official Freezywater postmark showing mammoth skeleton.

Official non-pictorial postmark for Freezywater.

A pictorial postmark from Royal Mail Tallents House, 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 9PB will be used for the issue. The reference number for the Tallents House, Edinburgh pictorial postmark is as follows:-

First day of Issue: Tallents House, Edinburgh Ref No FD 09 05

As an alternative to the Tallents House, Edinburgh postmark, pictorial and non-pictorial (plain design) FREEZYWATER, ENFIELD postmarks will also be available for this issue.

 

All First Day Covers obtained from Post Offices will bear the pictorial FREEZYWATER, ENFIELD postmark.

FREEZYWATER, ENFIELD
Pictorial Ref No FD 06 10

FREEZYWATER, ENFIELD
Non-Pictorial Ref No FD 10 06NP

Ref FD609
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark (Giant deer skeleton)

Ref FD610
Official Freezywater, Enfield Postmark (Mammoth skeleton)

Ref FD610NP
Official non-pictorial Freezywater postmark

 

 Another (private) post marks

 postmark showing chimp or early man in block of ice.  postmark showing cave bear.  postmark showing woolly mammoth. postmark showing head & shoulders of sabre=tooth cat. postmark showing woolly mammoth.
Ref L9994
Ice Age Animals, Piltdown, Uckfield
Ref L9997
Ice Age Mammals, Bearsted, Maidstone
Ref L9996
Ice Age Mammals, London
Ref L9995
Bletchley Park Post Office, Milton Keynes
Ref M1002
Ice Age Mammals, Coldbath Road, Birmingham
postmark showing Sabre Tooth cat. postmark showing giant deer. postmark showing woolly rhino. postmark showing woolly mammoth. postmark showing cave bear.
Ref L9991
Ice Age Mammals,
Pakefield, Lowestoft [Suffolk]
Ref N1006
Ice Age Mammals, Clapaham, Lancaster
Ref M1001
Ice Age Mammals,
Alrewas, Burton-on-Trent [Staffordhire]
Ref L9990
Ice Age Mammals,
Ilford [Essex]
Ref W1008
Ice Age Mammals,
Torquay [Devon]
postmark showing logo of the Save the Rhino Campaign. postmark showing mammoth tusks. postmark showing penguin & rock.
Ref L9999
Save the Rhino, London SE1
Ref L9998
Cromwell Road, London SW7
Ref M1003
The Iceland & The Great Stone, Northfield, Birmingham


 

Products

Official issues

FDC + PP

Others

The First Day Cover Envelope was designed by Jason Godfrey and printed by Smurfit Print UK and features a prehistoric skeleton. The filler card was also designed by Jason Godfrey and written by paleobiologist Dr Adrian Lister and is printed by Fulmar Colour Printing Company Ltd

The fully illustrated Presentation Pack comprises of a full set of the five Ice Age animals stamps and fascinating research on the way ice age mammals fit into the story of evolution. The pack was designed by Jason Godfrey and written by expert paleobiologist Dr Adrian Lister. The Pack is printed by Walsall Security Printers.

Inside text

Gutter pairs

Stamp Cards (PHQ)

You can see these animals at their biggest and best with five postcards bearing an enlarged image of each of the Ice Age Animals stamps. They are printed by Fulmar Colour Printing Company Ltd.

Circulated cover

 

FDC (official cover with various cancelations)

Some other FDC

 

 


References:   
   Norvic Philatelics     Natural History Museum
Royal Mail of Great Britain  Wikipedia

 

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Latest update 08.06.2013

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