Commemorative cancel depicting Quetzalcoatlus northropi used on a Certified Mail cover is unusual as commemorative cancels are normally used on philatelic mail. This certified mail (75 cents) 1st class (22 cents) cover from Detroit, MI (10 Oct 1986) to Army Post Office (APO) New York 09333 (Sandhofen, Germany) was back-stamped as received on 22 Dec 1986 at APO New York 09102 (Heidelberg, Germany). Evidently, the mail was ‘really slow’ when carried by pterosaur!!!
The new set of prehistoric animal stamps from Great Britain was issued today. They include:
The heavily armoured Polacanthus was protected from predators by a host of spikes and studs.
Adapted to life in the sea, the Ichthyosaurus breathed air and gave birth to live young in the water.
The herbivorous Iguanodon was able to walk on all fours, but would run using only its hind legs.
This relative lightweight flew mainly by soaring and gliding, catching fish by skimming the sea.
With a name meaning ‘heavy claw’, the thumb claw alone of the Baryonyx was more than 40cm long.
With its one metre wingspan and two types of teeth, the Dimorphodon preyed upon fish.
The long shins of the Hypsilophodon suggest that a speedy escape was its main means of defence.
The Cetiosaurus was a herbivore thought to weigh as much as 20,000kg, the same as 20 cars.
The fearsome Megalosaurus grew up to nine metres in length, and preyed upon other Dinosaurs.
With its vast paddles, the Plesiosaurus hunted fish and other marine prey at an estimated 8kph.
It’s really difficult to pick a single prehistoric animal as one’s favorite. Perhaps choosing a group might be easier so that’s the way I’ll get around this question, otherwise I’d have a list as long as my arm – well, OK, maybe longer. The group will have to be, insert drum roll here, the ‘Pterosaurs of the Mesozoic’. You likely saw that one coming due to the image in the left sidebar and the side bar link grouping.
They’re a very varied group, and that’s what makes them so interesting. They maintain a mystical origin as they could have developed from as many as four different areas on the tree of life. They’re not birds, not dinosaurs and definitely, at least at the moment, not part of any other grouping. Of all sizes and shapes, weighing next to nothing, they sailed the prehistoric skies as the first aviators to conquer the air, they could fly! How cool is that?
The above Chinese postmark from Linhai, Zhejiang Province commemorates the 20th Anniversary of the discovery of the ‘Fossil of South-Changliang-River Pterosaur‘.
OK, OK, yes, I do have other interests like sabertooths (sabretooths), archaeopteryx, giant dragonflies, trilobites, jellyfish, ants in amber, cavemen, cave paintings of France and Spain, maybe a few dinosaurs or even a fish with big teeth. But as neat as all those are, none are quite as cool as a pterosaur.
* NOTE: Assistance with identification of this cancel provided by PaleoPhilatelist – thanks.
One of the favorite item types in my prehistoric collection is errors of stamps, be they misperforations, colors missing or other odd ducks. In this U.S. color error, the black normally indicating a value and the text for the country of issue is missing. It’s one of those things you love for no other reason than it’s cool – even though other things may be more rare or important.
This U.S. issue designed by James Gurney is one of the most dynamic images of the Tyrannosaurus yet to appear on postage stamps.