Fossils, dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals on stamps and postmarks of New Zealand
is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—that of the North Island,
or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu—and numerous smaller islands.
New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres east of
across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of
Fiji and Tonga
Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans.
During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal,
fungal and plant life.
The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic
uplift of land and volcanic eruptions.
New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
Population of the county is about 4,7 million.
In 1840, Maori Chieftains entered into a compact with Britain
the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while
retaining territorial rights.
The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and
supported the UK militarily in both world wars.
Postage stamps have been issued in New Zealand since
July 1855 with the "Chalon head" stamps figuring Queen Victoria.
The design was based on a full face portrait of the Queen in her state
robes at the time of her coronation in 1837, by Alfred Edward Chalon.
The stamps were initially hand cut from sheets, but from 1862 on, these
sheets started being fed through automatic perforating machines.
The Chalon heads were used until 1874, when they were replaced with lithographed
stamps that showed Queen Victoria in side profile.
New Zealand was the first country in the world to prototype and install stamp vending machines; one was
installed in the General Post Office, Wellington in 1905.
Official stamps of New Zealand related to Paleontology: fossils, dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals
 Plant fossil shown on one of the "Antarctic research" stamps of New Zealand
, MiNr.: 889, Scott: 791.
 On October 10, 1993
three month after release of "Jurassic Park" movie, three commonwealth countries:
and New Zealand issued stamps with prehistoric animals.
Some other stamps of New Zealand: Natural History Museum, contributors to Paleontology
|10.10.1967 "Century of Royal Society of New Zealand" [SP1]
|11.02.1998 "Opening of Te Papa Museum of New Zealand in Wellington" [SP2]
In 1874 James Hector described some Mosasaur remains, now known as Taniwhasaurus haumuriensis.
[SP1] Sir James Hector [R3]
KCMG FRS FRSE (16 March 1834 – 6 November 1907) was a
Scottish-New Zealand geologist, naturalist, and surgeon who accompanied the Palliser Expedition as
a surgeon and geologist.
James Hector was the dominating personality in the small, nineteenth century scientific community in New Zealand.
Appointed as the government‟s first professional scientist in 1865, he quickly established the New Zealand
Geological Survey (now GNS Science), the Colonial Museum (now Te Papa) and the New Zealand Institute
(now Royal Society of New Zealand) as well as becoming a trusted government advisor.
Until he retired in 1903, Hector wrote and published a huge amount of material including scientific papers,
official parliamentary reports, and annual reports for the organisations under his control as well as supervising
the publication of scientific material in the annual Transactions of the New Zealand Institute and
the Reports of Geological Exploration.
In 1874, he reported about some fossil discoveries in New Zaland :
"The first notice of the occurrence in New Zealand strata of representatives of the Reptilian fauna
characteristic of the mesozoic epoch, was made in 1861, when Professor Owen communicated to the
British Association a brief description of certain fossils that had been discovered by
Mr. T. H. Cockbvirn Hood, P.G.S., and presented by him to the British Museum.
These fossil remains were obtained by Mr. Hood in a ravine on one of the tributaries of the Waipara River,
at the northern extremity of the Canterbury plains.
They comprise the vertebral centra, ribs, and coracoid bones, all belonging to the same individual which
Professor Owen referred to a new species — Plesiosaurus australis
("On the Fossil Reptilia of New Zealand")
Gideon and Mary-Anne Mantell studing the Iguanodon tooth on postmark of
[SP2] Most of fossils of New Zealand housed in the National Museum Te Papa Tongarewa
in Wellington [R4]
, including the first three
dinosaur fossils ever found in New Zealand
a theropod tail vertebra, a toe bone (phalanx) of another theropod, and a fragment of rib bone from an
ankylosaur, an armour-plated ornithopod.
Also housed at the National Museum Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington is a remarkable dinosaur fossil from
It is a fossil tooth that is considered to be the very first fossil to be recognised as 'dinosaur'.
Its finding in a quarry near Cuckfield in 1820 is attributed to Mary-Anne Mantell, wife of palaeontologist
Gideon Mantell formally described his wife's famous fossil in 1822 and named it 'Iguanodon
It is housed in New Zealand because his son Walter built a career in the early colonial days of New Zealand
(1840s to 1880s) and was a key figure in the development of the Colonial Museum (now Te Papa).
He inherited his father's belongings in the 1850s, including the Iguanodon
Commemorative postmarks of New Zealand related to Paleontology: prehistoric animals
Legend is here
[C1] Dinosaur vertebrate on postmark of New Zealand that used on FDC.
[C2] The silver postmark used on FDC from
"Limited Edition Pack" which included a numbered gummed miniature sheet
specifically designed for this edition, a signed first day cover, a
full set of stamps, colour separations of the $2.80 stamp and
insightful commentary by renowned New Zealand geologist and
palaeontologist Dr Hamish Campbell.
Some other commemorative postmarks of New Zealand to consider: contributors to Paleontology
Legend is here
|21.12.2001 "Centenary of the first British Antarctic Expedition - Robert Falcon Scott" [Sp] [CO1]
[CO1] Robert Falcon Scott
CVO (6 June 1868 – 29 March 1912) was a Royal Navy officer and explorer
who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery expedition of 1901–1904
and the ill-fated Terra Nova expedition of 1910–1912.
Scott and his companions died on the second expedition.
When Scott and his party's bodies were discovered, 16kg of Glossopteris
(an extinct beech-like tree from 250 million years ago) fossils
from the Queen Maud Mountains
were found next to their bodies, which they had dragged on hand sledges.
These fossils were promised to Marie Stopes
(shown on UK stamp in 2008
to provide evidence for Eduard Suess
's idea that Antarctica
had once been part of an ancient super-continent named Gondwanaland (now Gondwana).
More details are here
- [R1] New Zealand:
- [R2] Postal History and Philately of New Zealand:
Links to official website of the Post Authority, stamp catalog and a list of new stamps of New Zealand are here
- [R3] Sir James Hector:
"A bibliography of publications by or about James Hector (1834-1907)", by Simon Nathan,
Rowan Burns & Esme Mildenhall. Geoscience Society of New Zealand miscellaneous publication 133M
- [R4] Te Papa Museum of New Zealand:
Many thanks to Dr. Peter Voice
from Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University,
for the draft page review and his valuable comments.