British Prehistoric Animals – First Day of Issue

The new set of prehistoric animal stamps from Great Britain was issued today. They include:

Prehistoric Animals 2013

Prehistoric Animals 2013

Polacanthus
The heavily armoured Polacanthus was protected from predators by a host of spikes and studs.

Ichthyosaurus
Adapted to life in the sea, the Ichthyosaurus breathed air and gave birth to live young in the water.

Iguanodon
The herbivorous Iguanodon was able to walk on all fours, but would run using only its hind legs.

Ornithocheirus
This relative lightweight flew mainly by soaring and gliding, catching fish by skimming the sea.

Baryonyx
With a name meaning ‘heavy claw’, the thumb claw alone of the Baryonyx was more than 40cm long.

Dimorphodon
With its one metre wingspan and two types of teeth, the Dimorphodon preyed upon fish.

Hypsilophodon
The long shins of the Hypsilophodon suggest that a speedy escape was its main means of defence.

Cetiosaurus
The Cetiosaurus was a herbivore thought to weigh as much as 20,000kg, the same as 20 cars.

Megalosaurus
The fearsome Megalosaurus grew up to nine metres in length, and preyed upon other Dinosaurs.

Plesiosaurus
With its vast paddles, the Plesiosaurus hunted fish and other marine prey at an estimated 8kph.

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My Favorite Prehistoric Animal

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.

Ornithocheirus on Chinese lottery postcard

Ornithocheirus on Chinese Dinosaur Park postcard

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?

Pteranodon in Chinese commemorative cancel

Zhejiangopterus in Chinese commemorative cancel *

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. end of article

* NOTE: Assistance with identification of this cancel provided by PaleoPhilatelist – thanks.