Hand Cancel – Seeley, California

Harry Govier Seeley (18 February 1839 – 8 January 1909) was a British paleontologist and professor of geology and mineralogy at King’s College and Bedford College as well as a lecturer on geology and physiology at Dulwich College. He was the first to divide dinosaurs into two groups, the Saurischians and Ornithischians, based on their pelvic bones and joints.

The postal card is from Seeley, California (02/15/84) at the domestic postcard rate of 13¢, to Army Post Office, New York 09333, Coleman Barracks, Mannheim, Germany.

Hand Cancel - Seeley, California

Hand Cancel – Seeley, California

Seeley authored the 1901 book Dragons of the Air, an Account of Extinct Flying Reptiles (this link is a free Kindle version) and believed that birds and pterosaurs were related, disputing Sir Richard Owen’s description of pterosaurs as cold-blooded. Seeley thought they must have been warm-blooded animals.

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.