San Marino

Fossils and reconstructions of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, as well as Charles Darwin and other contributors to Paleontology on stamps and postmarks of San Marino

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San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino, also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino, is an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy, situated on the Italian Peninsula on the northeastern side of the Apennine Mountains.
Its size is just over 61 km2, with a population of about 33,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino and its largest city is Dogana.
Geographically the third smallest state in Europe (after the Holy See and Monaco), San Marino also claims to be the world's oldest republic and has the smallest population of the ll members of the Council of Europe.
The country's economy mainly relies on finance, industry, services and tourism. It is one of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP (per capita), with a figure comparable to the most developed European regions.
San Marino is considered to have a highly stable economy, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, no national debt and a budget surplus. It is the only country with more vehicles than people. [R1]

The first San Marino postage stamps were a definitive stamp set consisting of two designs covering seven denominations. The stamps, which depict the Three Towers of San Marino at Monte Titano, were created by the design firm Fratelli Pellas in Genoa and the stamps were printed on Italian watermarked paper by the Officina Carta e Valori in Turin. Commemorative stamp editions were introduced in 1894. [R2]

Official stamps of San Marino related to Paleontology: dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals

30.06.1965"Prehistoric animals" [1]
Dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals on stamps of San Marino 1965 MICHEL Dinos - whole world catalog - contain technical details and prices of stamps with dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals

[1] This set is one of the very first pictorial sets of Dinosaurs issued ever. There are a lot of FDCs with these stamps, perhaps all are personalized.

Other stamps of San Marino to consider: contributors to Paleontology, Charles Darwin, stylized prehistoric animals

21.04.1983"Pioneers оf Science" [A1] 09.05.2012"40th anniversary of UNESCO heritage" [A2]
Carl Linnaeus among other fampus personalities Charles Darwin and Pteranodon on 40th anniversary of UNESCO heritage stamp of San Marino 2012
[A1] Carl Linnei shown on a stamp with face value of 400 of "Pioneers of Science" set.
Charles Darwin and Pteranodon on stamp of San Marino 2012
Charles Darwin and Pteranodon on stamp of San Marino 2012 MiNr.: 2520, Scott: 1864c
Carl Linnaeus on stamp of San Marino 1983
Carl Linnaeus on stamp of San Marino 1983 MiNr.: 1274, Scott: 1044
Carl Linnei (1707 - 1778) Sweden Carl Linnaeus, was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature used today in all of the Biological Sciences including Paleontology.
He is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology.

[A2] Two stamps on the right side of the block are related to te Galapagos Islands. Charles Darwin and a Pteranodon (flying prehistoric reptile) are shown on one of them.

Pteranodon is a genus of pterosaurs which included some of the largest known flying reptiles, with wingspans over 6 metres.
It lived during the late Cretaceous geological period of North America in present day Kansas, Alabama, Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota.
More fossil specimens of Pteranodon have been found than any other pterosaur, with about 1,200 specimens known to science, many of them well preserved with nearly complete skulls and articulated skeletons. Pteranodon was not a dinosaur.
By definition, all dinosaurs belong to either order within Dinosauria, either Saurischia or Ornithischia. As such, this excludes pterosaurs. Nonetheless, Pteranodon is frequently featured in dinosaur media and is strongly associated with dinosaurs by the general public. [R3]

Commemorative postmarks of San Marino related to Paleontology: fossils.

Legend is here
09.06.1979 "International Fossils and Minerals trade show" [Sp] [PM1] 
Ouranosaurus nigeriensis on postmark of San Marino 1979

[PM1] The dinosaur on the postmark is most probably Ouranosaurus nigeriensis (genus of herbivorous iguanodont dinosaur).
Ouranosaurus nigeriensis from Venice's Natural Museum
Mounted sekeleton of Ouranosaurus nigeriensis from Venice's Natural Museum. Image credit: the museum website

Fossils of the dinosaur were discovered by the Italian expedition, organized by the Italian entrepreneur and philanthropist Giancarlo Ligabue, founder of the Centro Studi e Ricerche Ligabue, Venice, who donated it to the museum. [R4]

Since 1975, a nearly complete mounted skeleton of Ouranosaurus nigeriensis has been exhibited at the Museo di Storia Naturale (Natural History Museum) of Venice, Italy. [R5]


  • Many thanks to fellow collectors David Bressan from the USA and Ton van Eijden from the Netherlands for their help finding an information about the dinosaur shown on the postmarks from 1979.
  • 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.

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